An Easter Message
April 1st was Easter, the most significant day of the year for God’s children. It’s significant because it is the culmination of Jesus’ earthly ministry. After spending the last 3 years of His life pouring into and ministering to the multitudes, the seventy who followed closely and especially the twelve His work is now finished. Just three days earlier He hung on the cross to satisfy the just and holy wrath of His Father and now He has risen from the grave showing His power over death and fulfilling the scriptures.
The cross and the empty tomb is the great need of every person who has ever lived. We understand this because the scripture makes clear to us in Romans 3:23 that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Then in Romans 6:23 we are told what the payment for our sin is, it says, “…the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What our sin has earned us is death and not just physical death, but spiritual death; eternity apart from the glory of God. But the passage also speaks of this free gift of God which is eternal life. This is what Jesus was dealing with as He hung on the cross and what He made a reality by raising from the dead. Romans 5:8 tells us that, “…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were in that state of rebellion against God, He willingly sent His Son to lay down His life on our behalf. Then lastly, we look at Romans 10:9-10,
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
We look at Easter and the entire Passion Week and we see the amazing love and power of our awesome God. The cross is an amazing act in which the Son of God bore the wrath of the Father in order to make payment for the sins of His people, but without Easter, without the empty tomb none of it really matters. If Jesus just hung on a tree and died and His remains are still in a tomb somewhere in Jerusalem, then He is not worth listening to or following because He is a liar and a fraud. But if the tomb really is empty then Easter is something amazing. Easter is a reminder of the eternal life that we now have as a result of what Christ has done on our behalf and that is a reason to celebrate.
Erik Keeling (RBC Young Adults and Admin Pastor)