Why do we Celebrate Easter ?

Because He is Risen!

A podcast to accompany this post is located here. Why do we Celebrate Easter? Podcast

Easter, the most important Christian holy day is just days away. I wonder how many people will be going to church on Sunday or getting Easter baskets with no real understanding of what happened on the first Easter. I hope you’ll read and find out why this day is so important to you.

Do you know why Jesus Christ was nailed to a wooden cross through his hands and feet and left to suffer and die on a cross between two criminals ? I’m sorry to tell you , but it was because of your sins. And mine. And the sins of the world. He died to pay the price for you and me, a literal death exchange, so we could be set free from the slavery to sin and death that many don’t even realize they are living in.

Yes , unless you have believed and repented , you are a condemned and lost slave to your flesh and will likely give in to whatever temptation Satan throws at you , especially your pet sins . You might not think you sin , but compared to God’s standards , we just don’t measure up because our hearts are hopelessly selfish and controlled by our own desires, instead of what is holy and righteous. You don’t have to be a terrible person (in the world’s eyes) or a murderer to be a sinner. Even “good” people need to be saved by Jesus.

But here’s the good news! When Jesus willingly walked right into the evil plans of his enemies, knowing exactly what was coming , a kangaroo court, a false conviction , a horrific beating and scourging and crucifixion , he did it to save you and me! Jesus, being totally sinless , because of the fact that God himself is his Father , was able to give his life as a substitute for ours . It was God’s plan of salvation from the beginning. The first man God created , Adam , brought death into the world when he disobeyed God . Jesus died to pay for that and every sin.

Our sins separate us from God and condemn us to a life apart from Him and an afterlife apart from Him because He is too holy to be in the presence of sinners. God created us to have fellowship with us but that connection was broken when Adam sinned. After that , every person was born separated from God by their sin nature . In the old days before Jesus , God provided his chosen people, the Hebrews, with a sacrificial system using animals to pay for sins, but it had to be repeated over and over . But when Jesus came, he was able to pay that debt once and for all so that we who believe are now forgiven and reconciled to God! Those who believe are now moved from the condemned group , the unbelievers, to the redeemed group, God’s children.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6

On the first Easter , Jesus , who had died on the cross, had been dead for three days, came back to life and left the tomb because death had no power to hold him. He is the holy Son of God, the Messiah . Thanks to him, you can be reunited with God , your Heavenly Father who created you and everything in the world. Without his loving gift of salvation you will be judged and found guilty of all your sins and sent to eternal damnation . But God made a way for you! Will you believe and accept Jesus as your savior and Lord today?

Celebrate this Easter knowing that you are completely forgiven and redeemed and covered by the blood of Jesus and now belong to the family of God.

That is what Easter is all about . It’s not about chocolate bunnies, easter baskets, a big lunch, or even a new outfit for Church. It’s not about gardens, dying eggs to hunt, real or stuffed bunnies and chicks. It’s about you needing a savior and Jesus giving his life for you.

He is risen! Oh glorious day! Thank you, Jesus!

“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. “”- Matthew 1:18-25

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate
63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’
64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”
66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. – Matthew 27:62-66

“50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man,
51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God.
52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.
54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.
55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid.
56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.
5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,
7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
8 And they remembered his words,
9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles,
11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. – Luke 23:50—24:12

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.
12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers
13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’
14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. – Matthew 28:11-15

53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53 NIV

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