The Easter story is the story of Jesus Christ sacrificing Himself and rising again in order to defeat death, save all of mankind from their sins, and bring us back into relationship with God. There are so many incredible lessons we need to take away from this cornerstone of Christianity, and I want to focus on one lesson that is likely a viewpoint we haven't looked at this story in.
Before Jesus came into Jerusalem he had raised a man named Lazarus from the dead. Many people heard of the miracle Jesus performed and came to see Him in Jerusalem, not only because of who Jesus was but also to see Lazarus. They followed Jesus to see the fruit of the miracle He had performed.
The Easter story is a perfect example of how we should live as Christ (Christ prioritizing the salvation of mankind to the point of sacrificing Himself for the sake of saving everyone else), how we typically do live (Peter denying Him and Judas betraying Him when it got tough to follow Him), and how others (believers and unbelievers) can be drawn in by the way we live and the testimonies we share about Christ's saving grace in our lives even though we’ve denied and betrayed Him.
Here is a vital point that I don't want us to miss or discount. We don't always seek Jesus because He is our Savior. We often seek Him because of what we heard He did in someone else's life. Sometimes we are drawn to Him because of how He has changed, used, helped or blessed others.
Each of us is given a story and testimony that we are called to share with others. That is one of the most powerful ways we can draw others into the love and truth of Christ. We don't always need to be throwing scripture at people and telling them how they should apply it to their situation. There is a time and place for that approach, but let us not miss the opportunities to use the story He gave us to draw others closer to the water.
So, will you live by Christ's selfless example, putting the salvation of your fellow human as a priority in your life by walking the walk He intended for you and sharing the testimony He gave you? Or will you instead walk like Judas who betrayed Jesus for the sake of wealth and gain? Or like Peter, who denied Jesus when it became tough to continue following him? Whatever you choose, it is all part of your story. It all has the power to either draw someone nearer to or further from the waters we're all called to step out onto.
'When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. ' John 12:9-11
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, Psalms 119:46
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2 Timothy 3:12
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Philippians 1:21-26