April 7, 2023

The Significance of Easter

Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”  Luke 18:31-34

They didn’t get it. For these twelve men, they had given up everything to follow Jesus, but for them, no matter how many times He told them He was going to die and rise again – basically the Easter story – they didn’t get it.

They had a different narrative. They wanted Him to conquer Rome and free them from the tyranny of the empire and restore them back to their rightful place as an independent nation. Now, in time, Jesus will come again as the conquering king.

But, first, Easter, the death, burial, and resurrection must come. The whole purpose of His first coming was to make a way for sinful man to be made right with a Holy God. For that to happened, He had to die as our substitute and then rise again on the third day defeating death, hell, and the grave.

In reading this passage many times over the last several weeks, I have the question, how about you and me, do we get it?

Does Easter impact us other than once a year.

It should.

For those of us who are Christians, it is not only the core of our beliefs, but our very life.

His death, burial and resurrection is the gospel and the gospel is not just to save us from hell and take us to heaven and then see you later till then – it is for now.

In the above passage we see three things about Jesus that point us to the significance of Easter: His plan, His pain, and His power.

Jesus points to the Old Testament prophets and how everything that would soon happen was all part of God’s plan. Then, He gives vivid details to the pain He would soon face to bring redemption and restoration for us as sinners to come to God. Last, Jesus reminds them that He would arise in power over death!

Again, what does this all mean for us today?

I want to share three truths from this passage. I will lay them out in hopes that you can “cipher” on them over this Easter weekend.

In His plan, we can trust Jesus with our story. Jesus coming to earth was not by accident and Him dying on the cross was not a mistake or even Him dying as a martyr. No, Jesus came to die and He came to rise again over death, hell and the grave. It was all part of the plan of the entire Holy Trinity to make a way for us to get to God.

Then, when God calls out to us for salvation and seeks us out for a relationship with His Father through Him, our story becomes a part of His story. He has a plan for each of us well. Knowing this, we can trust Him with our story.  

I know I often, like the disciples want to write or create a different narrative than what God is leading me to do and in essence write my own story. And there is nothing wrong with having a passion and dreams of what you want your life to look like or what direction you want your story to go.

Where I miss it and where you may as well is just laying my plan out there and just asking God to bless it, rubber stamp it and move on. Not stopping to ask what is His will and way. Especially if I don't like where I think the story of my life may be heading, for instance into a valley or time of trial.

Right now, it could be, you are wondering what God is up to?

What does this look like and how will it end?

Please know, He is working out His plan, He is for you not against you, give Him your story.

Let Him write it. Doesn’t mean you can’t have dreams and hopes and plan and prepare – Let God take the lead, trust Him when you cant see him. Can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.

Be willing to say as Jesus did in the garden that night before the cross - Father if there is any other way, but if not, not my will, but thy will be done.

In His pain, we can trust Jesus with our suffering. In all that He went through, Jesus understands our pain and He sees where we are, and He cares and in enduring that pain He died for our sins. Peter would tell us that Jesus "when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly."

Wow, Jesus trusted the Father, even as He was insulted and faced the suffering of the trials, scourging and the pain of the cross. May God help us to trust Him the same way in our suffering. It doesn't mean we do not cry out for help or ask for grace. It means we lean into Him. I don't know what you are facing and I may not know how you feel, but Jesus knows, He understands and He cares.

That is why we can come to Him as our great High Priest, He "has been touched with the feelings of our infirmities and in all points tempted like us, yet without sin, let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need."

He knows - trust Him in your sufferings.

In His power, we can trust Jesus with our salvation. In Christ alone do we have hope in this life and the life to come by trusting in Him alone because He not only died for our sins but rose again for our victory.

Look at the truth in these passages and let them wash over your heart today.

“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:8-11

“but also for us. It will be credited to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”  Romans 4:24-25

“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,”    1 Peter 3:18

"Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O tgrave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 15:54–57

If we trust in Jesus in that He died for our sins and rose again for our victory, we can be saved today.

Do you know Jesus as your savior? Do you know about Him or do you know Him in a relationship? Have you been forgiven of your sins and trusted in Him alone to get your heaven?

If not, you can today. Simply right now, call out to Jesus and ask Him to save you. He will. Do it today!

If you are saved, let these truths sit and soak in your soul over the next few days.

By trusting in all Jesus did on that first Easter we not only have hope for our life today but also for our life for all of eternity.

Remember, He is alive!

That my dear friends is significant!

Pastor Michael