What Easter Means
Easter Means Jesus Paid for Our Sins:
Eph 1:7 (NLT)
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
There have been a lot of religious teachers throughout history. Most had good things to say. Some did not. Why is Jesus different that any of the other teachers? He died and rose again. That is a critical statement. It was not the life of Jesus that saves you. It's not the teachings of Jesus that saves you. It's the death and resurrection that opened the door to salvation. Jesus died for our sins. The Bible says we have all fallen short. We have all blown it. We have all made mistakes. None of us is perfect. That's pretty obvious. I can't even measure up to my own standards much less to God's. We have all sinned.
The Bible teaches us that justice demands punishment. If you break God's law, you pay God's penalty. We see it over and over again in the Old Testament. Romans 6:23 (NLT) tells us...
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Somebody has to pay for all the wrong that I have done and all the wrong that you have done. Either you pay or somebody pays for you. There is no other way in God's eyes. And there came Jesus saying "I'll do it."
Everything you and I have done or ever will do has already been paid for. Jesus paid it all on the cross. Eph 1:7 (NLT) says.....
7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
When Jesus dies on the cross that day it showed 2 things:
1. It showed how much your forgiveness cost. The highest price that could have possibly been paid was paid that day. He gave His blood. He gave His life. He gave it all. Grace is free but it was not cheap. It cost Jesus His life.
2. It shows how much God values you. It shows how much you matter to God.
What are you worth? Jesus says you are worth any price...even death on the cross.
Easter Means we are Acceptable to God
Romans 4:25 (NLT)
25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
Jesus' death and resurrection make us acceptable to God.
How many people do you know that are happy with themselves? Are you happy with yourself right now? Most of us wish we were different. We wish we looked different. We wish we acted different. We don't accept ourselves and so w spend our lives trying to find acceptance among other people. Much more important than being accepted by people is being accepted by God. Being acceptable to God is a problem. God is perfect. God lives in a perfect place. God had to devise a plan to make the imperfect perfect. That plan was sending Jesus to die for me and for you.
2 Cor 5:21 (NLT)
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
You are never going to be acceptable to God on your own. No matter how much you do or say.
Romans 3:22 (NLT)
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.
No matter who you are or what you have done or been like. Jesus paid the price to make us right with God.
Easter Offers a Fresh Start
1Peter 1:3-5 (MSG)
3What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, 4including a future in heaven--and the future starts now! 5God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all--life healed and whole.
Would you like a fresh start? Most of us would. That's what Jesus offered on the cross that day. A new beginning. A brand new life.
1Cor 1:30 (MSG)
Everything that we have--right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start--comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.
Easter Show Us God's Great Love
Romans 5:8 (NLT)
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Every single thing Jesus did He did out of love. God made you to love you. God showed His great love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners.
You know anyone that washes the dishes before putting them in the dish washer or anyone that brushes their teeth like there is no tomorrow before going to get their teeth cleaned? God didn't need us to do anything to ourselves before He could save us. He took us just the way we were and made us His because of His great love for us.
Easter Means He Was Who He Said He Was
Luke 24:5-8 (MSG)
The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, "Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? 6He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee 7that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?" 8Then they remembered Jesus' words?
Romans 1:3-4 (NLT)
3 The Good News is about his Son, Jesus. In his earthly life He was born into King Davidís family line,4 and He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is the day that He proved to be who He said He was. Nothing that He had done before this was proof. Not the miracles. Not anything. This was the proof that He had been sent here to save a world that was dying.
Easter is important because Easter is when Jesus proved who He claimed to be and why He had come.
3 events occurred this weekend: the trial of Jesus, the death of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus actually went through 6 trials. He was brought before 2 high priests. He was brought before the Sanhedrin, then to Pilate, then before Herod and then back to Pilate again. He had done nothing wrong. None of these men had any grounds to convict Him of anything other than what they finally charged Him with...claiming to be the Son of God. Of that charge, He was guilty. Read the accounts in the gospels. That is what He admitted to and only that.
Jesus came to earth to die for us. Period. All the other things He did, said and taught are great but the bottom line is that He came here to die. He had to die. He had to.
After a night of viscous beating and mocking, after being crowned with painful thorns, Jesus was crucified. Crucifixion was the most brutal of torturous death penalty ever. His hands were stretched out wide against the cross and nailed through the 2 bones in each of His wrists. A the nails went through the flesh they would strike the nerve that travels up the arm and cause excruciating pain.
If you hang this way for any period of time, the muscles around you chest become paralyzed. you can breathe in but you can't breath out. Death on the cross is really a simple matter of suffocation, except the Romans did not want to make it that easy. They took His knees and bent them slightly an nailed His feet to the cross.
He hung there in agony until His chest was about to explode, and then He would lift Himself up on His nailed feet to grab a breath. When the pain in His feet grew unbearable, He'd let Himself back down again until the pain in His lungs became unbearable. It was a truly awful thing for anyone much less the king of Glory. Eventually, the soldiers would break the legs of the person to hasten the suffocation.
In the case of Jesus, the didn't get that far because He was already dead.
Why did Jesus have to die? Because He alone was the acceptable payment for our sins. We deserved punishment. We deserved to die, but Jesus paid the cost. Jesus paid it all.
1Peter 3:18 (MSG)
That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of other's sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all--was put to death and then made alive--to bring us to God.