I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the True Reason for Easter. I have read numerous posts on facebook, blogs and the like lately about all of the egg hunts and candy, yet so little about Christ.
I will not apologize for offending anyone, as this is truly your choice if you continue to read this post. As I know for a fact that I still live in the United States and have yet to apply a muzzle to my posts, I will go on to tell you about Easter and the REAL reason behind what we should be celebrating. I would pray now that what you read is encouraging and that you do so with God’s hand on your shoulder. The words here are not my own (well most of them anyway) they are from the True Word of God, The Holy Bible. May you be be blessed with answers and filled with truth.
A very long time ago that was a man that was better than any other man that had yet to walk the earth. This man was a true gift from God as He was born to a virgin mother, named Mary. His name was Jesus and He grew up loving His true father in heaven as much as He loved his earthly father, Joseph.
As Jesus grew up He was blessed by God and as an adult He began to preach to the people. Jesus also performed many miracles and from these miracles, He drew more people to His heavenly father, God. Jesus never once claimed to do this miracles by Himself, He always gave the glory and praise to God.
Jesus proved to be so popular that the common people, you know, the Romans, decided that Jesus was a false prophet (and a BIG Problem!). The Romans proceeded to accuse Jesus as a hieratic (or liar) and set out to prove to the masses that they were right. (How many times have you seen something like this happen?!)
The followers of Jesus Christ tried to hide Him, but Jesus knew what His job was here on earth. He knew that He was to be beaten and hung up on a cross for the world to see. This was not something He wanted to do, He took time to ask His heavenly father if there was a way around it. Yes, for those of you that don’t know the story, He really didn’t WANT to have to Follow through!
The Romans (the priests and teachers, mostly) declared that Jesus Christ was on the “Wanted List” and set out find Him by any means. They were approached by a man, named Judas, one of Jesus’s best friends (have you ever been betrayed by a best friend?) He gave up his best friend for a mere thirty pieces of silver.
The Roman troops set out to pick up Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. As Jesus prayed and asked God to take this chore from Him, Judas Iscariot led the toops to Jesus and said, “the one I greet and kiss is the one you seek!”
As you can imagine, the scene was an utter mess. Judas kissed Jesus and praised him (have you ever been called a “Judas”, this is why!) and the troops put shackles on Jesus and led Him to the high court.
From there He was questioned by the governor, Pilate, he asked Jesus, “Are You The King of The Jews?” and Jesus responded with “It is a you say.” The questions continued yet Jesus didn’t answer one of them. Pilate said, “Do you hear all that they accuse you of?” But Jesus let His accusers talk and did not say a word.
The deal back then was that the governor was able to release (or let go) a prisoner of the crowds choosing! (Can you imagine being at the mercy of an angry crowd?) So as dinner approached, Pilate asked the crowd if they wanted Barabbas (a murderer and downright BAD man!) or Jesus to be released.
The crowd cried out “Crucify Him!” Pilate asked the crowd again and yet the crowd answered back “Crucify Him!”. Pilate could not believe that the crowd was so angry for he could not find any fault in Jesus. Yet the crowd had been convinced by the priests that Jesus was the one that should suffer.
Again Pilate tried to sway the crowd by asking, “What evil has this man done to you!? I have found no reason for death and therefore I will let him go.” The crowd demanded with loud voices that Jesus Christ be crucified. And as any good politician, he declared by washing his hands in water that, “I am innocent of this persons blood, you see to his death!” Then Pilate let the crowd have back their murderer Barabbas and delivered Christ to be crucified.
The soldiers took Jesus and stripped Him of His clothes and put a robe of purple on Him and twisted a large thorn crown on His head. Then they bowed before Him and mocked Him by saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!!” They laughed at Him, spat on Him and then beat Him. They took off the robe, redressed Him in His clothes and led Him off to be crucified.
The soldiers took Jesus to Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull proceeded to drive spikes into His left hand and right hand so His arms were spread wide. They then drove a large spike into His ankles so that His knees were bent. The soldiers picked up the large wooden cross on which they nailed Him to and dropped it into a hole on the hill.
They had attached a sign above His head that read, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. The people that came by to see Jesus up on the cross mocked Him, laughed at Him and said things like, “If He is the son of God, let Him come down off of that cross!”. After many hours, Jesus cried out to God, saying, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” and again, Jesus cried out again and offered His spirit to God and said, “It is finished” and closed His eyes one last time.
Sounds quite horrible doesn’t it? Such a traumatic way to die. Due to the way that Jesus was hung on the cross, the body was angled in such a way that He suffocated, a slow and nasty way to die.
Yet, the story does not end there. No one wants to continue with the rest of the story. It was told long before Jesus was even born. Many people heard of this tale and thought it foolish. That a man would come to save the world by dying! What a big bit of nonsense! But there is much more to this story, much more.
As Jesus had His body removed from the cross, Many people rushed to Pilate and said, that we need to bury His body before anyone can take it! He (Jesus) said, that “after three days He would rise.”
The body of Jesus was taken and wrapped in linens and placed in a large tomb. The tomb was sealed with a giant boulder and a guard was placed out front. A guard was placed before it because the priests were terrified that the body of Jesus Christ would indeed rise again.
On the morning of the Sabbath (the third day) a great earthquake came and an angel from heaven appeared in the front of the tomb and rolled away the giant stone that had been placed at the entrance of the the tomb. As the angel sat on the stone, with a look as lightning and clothed in garments as white as snow, the guards were so terrified that they became like dead men.
The women that sat at the tomb to mourn the death of Jesus looked at the angel and he said to them, “Do not be afraid for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He has risen, as He said He would. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Now go quickly and tell the disciples (followers) that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
The women ran to do as they were told and the disciples met the Lord at the water and listened as He spoke. He told them that they were to preach this message to all nations. That indeed “Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who that believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned to death. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover.”
And with that Jesus Christ rose into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God.
This story can be found in all four of the gospels of Jesus in the Bible. You can read it in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. The words may vary a little, but it is the same story, told by four very different men that followed the Lord.
I know that if you have read it thus far that you either wanted to see how well I could write about something so important or that you have never heard the story before and needed to know the ending.
I want you to know that some of the words might not make sense, due to the way words were spoken so long ago, but the message can be broken down into a very simple line or two. Jesus died on the cross because He loved us so very much. And because He died on the cross for you and me, all we need to do is believe, ask forgiveness for our sins invite Jesus into our hearts, and do our best to sin no more.
We were given simple instructions from that point, do our best to preach the good news (gospel, story, word of God) and we will be blessed with speaking in the language of the Spirit, our direct link to God.
I want you to know that this message is for every single person in the world. No matter where you are, you have access to the same Jesus and God that I do. You can say from your heart in a prayer to God, these words, “God, I believe that you sent your only Son to die on the cross for me. I know that You caused Him to rise from the dead to set me free from my sins. I ask Jesus into my heart today. I love Jesus and know that He loves me. I pray all of these things in Jesus name, Amen.”
May you be blessed today, because it is a perfect day to celebrate that Jesus loved us enough to die a horrible death so that we can spend forever in heaven.
Many blessings to you on this Easter Sunday.
In His Grace.