And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 ESV
Easter really needs to be celebrated with a much bigger celebration than what we give it. It is more than Christmas, our birthdays, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or any other holiday. It is the singular event that defines followers of Jesus.
Each year I try to walk in the shoes of the disciples who were there. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the promise of Passover and the meal, the arrest, the scattering and denials, the trial, the flogging, the crucifixion, and the grave. Think on how they all felt on that Sabbath Saturday.
All hope was lost. All joy was gone. All plans were terminated. Did any of them realize the prophets' words would come true? Did they understand when Jesus said this had to happen and that he would return? Did any of them expect hope and joy in what was coming?
Sunday morning arrived and everything was changed! He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed.
The resurrection more than anything shows us how much God loves us and how he wants us to be with him in eternity. GOD LOVES US! Isn't that great? Without the resurrection, there is no hope for us. Without the resurrection our assuredness is unfilled.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 ESV
For God so loved the world - His creation, His people, His Plan, His redemption, His grace, His love
That He gave His only son - Jesus, Holy Trinity, Word made flesh, 100% God and 100% man
That whoever believes in Him - anyone, no restrictions, no payment, no works, just faith
Should not perish - snuffed from existence nor punished for our sins
But have eternal life - Forever and ever
God's love, God's grace, God's plan, God's redemption.
Jesus came to redeem us, to save us, to free us, to make us live again.
The only 'might be saved' is us not accepting this awesome gift of grace.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:7-10 ESV
Praise the lord for He is Good!
Easter should always remind us of the enormity of the gift and how deep and wide God loves us.