You may be asking yourself… “What’s the big deal about Easter?” I’d like to tell you what it means to me.
Easter is the time when I remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born in Israel 2000(ish) years ago and claimed to be the son of God, come to save us from destruction. He backed that claim up by performing many documented signs and miracles in the presence of many witnesses. He also proved his claim by showing the people how his coming was clearly and specifically foretold in their own scriptures, written many years before his birth.
While he was with them he taught his followers many truths about himself from their own scriptures and also proved his power by miraculously healing the diseases and sicknesses of all who came to him. He also occasionally spoke of the time when he would have to be killed in order that those who believe in Him might be saved from destruction. He taught that one day a time will come when all humanity will have to stand before the judgement seat of God and be judged based on our actions in life. The punishment for sin is death (that is final destruction by God, not just physical death) and all who have sinned in life will be destined for that eternal destruction. (unfortunately for us, there is no one who has not sinned) He explained that he had come to save us by dying in our place and taking the punishment that was intended for us.
There were, however, many who did not believe his claims and who incited the religious and political leaders of that day and area (through a rioting mob) to have him captured, brought before judgement, and condemned to death by crucifixion. Their case against him was completely fabricated and (according to the recorded historical account in the Bible) even the witnesses brought against him couldn’t agree on exactly what crime he had committed to deserve the death sentence. After close examination of the claims against him, the political leader of that area wanted to let him go, but gave in to the will of the mob to avoid a more dangerous riot.
On that Friday, he was severely beaten, humiliated, and then taken to the place of execution where he was crucified on a wooden cross. A number of hours later, the Roman soldiers assigned to the execution pronounced him dead after having speared him in the side. His body was taken down from the cross and was laid in a borrowed tomb with a large boulder blocking the entrance, and a squad of soldiers guarding it in case of some deception.
Early in the morning on Sunday (after the Jewish passover celebration) some women went to the tomb with spices to embalm the body. When they arrived, they discovered that the boulder had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. Two angels appeared to them and told them that Jesus had risen from the dead as He had foretold. In the following weeks Jesus himself appeared to many of his followers and reminded them of what he had taught them previously about his death and resurrection. He instructed them to go and tell the good news that there was forgiveness for sin and right standing with God available to those who are willing to accept it.
During his life, he committed no sin and yet he took my place in death and judgement so that when I stand before God I can have the opportunity to be saved from final destruction. This is why Easter means so much to me.
The way to receive that salvation is simple. Romans 3 in the Bible states the following:
22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.
So, to be saved, you simply have to pray, confessing that you have sinned, asking for forgiveness and believing that Jesus Christ as the son of God has paid for your sin. If you don’t know what to say, here is a sample prayer. It’s not a formula … you can use your own words, but it’s a place to start…
Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
If you have prayed this prayer, I’d love to hear about it and celebrate with you. If you have more questions, feel free to check out some of the resources we have at Power to Change. If you want to read about Jesus life and more detail of what I’ve written above, you could read the book of Luke in the Bible. Read it here online.