Easter weekend is merely a holiday for many people. For believers in Christ it is the celebration of a very important event. On that momentous weekend two thousand years ago, human history was changed forever. Two changes took place. Both were planned in eternity. They were executed in three short days. (The creation of the heavens and the earth in six days was a supernatural act of God. This ‘new’ creation in three days was just as much a supernatural act of God.)
Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection within three days, was planned before the beginning of time. It was the plan of God the Father, Himself. God’s decision was to establish a kingdom (‘He [Jesus] appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God’ [Acts 1:3].). His Son would be the King. His territory would be a perfect, sinless earth. So God set about gathering citizens who would worship and love His Son for all eternity. Each person would be thoroughly tested and tried, before he/she was allowed into that glorious place.
Two things prevented man from filling that place:
- his sinful character, which was unacceptable to a holy God who is planning a sinless, eternal kingdom;
- man’s mortality, and his body which decays at death. How would man be ‘changed’ to become immortal, yet still a man?
Concerning the first problem: Jesus died for our sins in our place. Colossians 2:13b-14 assures us of it: ‘He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.’ By enduring the shame, the pain, the abuse before and during His execution, He gathered billions of citizens for His kingdom. He cleansed them totally and made it possible that they will be able to live in the presence of a holy God.
Concerning the second problem: Dying for our sins, handled people’s past. What about our future? Jesus died and He rose again. (He was not raised from the dead like Lazarus, who merely became alive and would die again.) Jesus was resurrected in a new order of life. His corruptible body (as a man) was raised incorruptible, supernatural, able to go through walls. He was the first of God’s pattern for an eternal person: an incorruptible, supernatural, visible body. What happened on that momentous day of Jesus’ resurrection, is that God perfected the transition from our death bound bodies to a state where death will have no hold on us. Jesus was the ‘bridge,’ ‘the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything He might have the supremacy’ (Colossians 1:18b). The Resurrection is very important. We read in Acts 1:22, 2:22,32; 3:15; 4:2,10,33.... that the apostles testified to the resurrection, the event that would have consequences for eternity; that which changed them from fearful to fearless witnesses. We will be changed and become like Him (1 John 3:2). Without the resurrection our faith is futile (1 Corinthains 15:17).
On that Easter weekend, Jesus wiped out our past sins. He made our future secure. Because He was raised from the dead, we will also be resurrected with supernatural bodies. If that doesn’t give us reason to glorify God and rejoice, then nothing ever will.
May you enjoy Easter, filled with the wonder of God’s wisdom and love to open the way for you to share His glorious kingdom. It all started in a little manger. It supposedly ‘ended’ on a shameful cross. That is what the devil thought. He was wrong. When Jesus rose on the third day, the devil realized he had lost his advantage. Jesus Christ gained the victory on our behalf. Anyone who wishes can now accept the two events of Easter and become a citizen of eternal Glory!