He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.
Easter egg hunts. Family holidays. Extended leave. Great food. Creating memories. Getting to church on time. Typically that is what goes on over an Easter Weekend, but what is it all about? For Christians, is it just another religious holiday? And for non-Christians, does the death and resurrection of Jesus hold any significance?
Looking at the significance of what happened over Easter Weekend more than two thousand years ago there is so much we can go in to and so much that is worth mentioning. I want to highlight just three points the come from the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus is the son of God
I find it odd that other religions and beliefs other than Christianity look at Jesus and say He was a good man, a prophet of God, a good teacher, someone to look up to etc...
Jesus doesn't give us that option over Himself. The words that He spoke distinctively put Him in a place where He either is who He claimed to be - the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Lord over all creation and the only one through whom salvation is made available - or He is a liar, a lunatic and a crazy person not at all worth admiring, never mind following.
But His resurrection from the grave and all the details that go with it prove that He is the Son of God and the only response we have left to us is to either accept Him as the Lord over all creation and the Savior of the world or we reject Him along with His free gift offering of the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation and security.
When we choose to accept Him we willingly surrender our lives and choose to follow and obey Him for the rest of our lives. When we choose to reject Him we are free to live our lives the way we want to, but we are not free from one day standing before Jesus to give an account of our lives and the choices we've made.
What we cannot be is indifferent, in the grey or lukewarm. We are either wholeheartedly pursuing Jesus in every area of our lives or we are not.
The Gospel is true
Many have heard the story of Jesus. The baby in the manger, the man on the cross. The death and resurrection of Jesus takes the Gospel from being just a nice story to the very power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
Humanity was without God and without hope in this world but for the love of God in action through the Gospel. The Gospel restores hope to the human soul as we are reunited with our creator and given eternal security and safety in His arms. The Gospel comes to write a better story to the one offered by a world without God, and it writes into our stories the ultimate triumphant finale as we get to stand with Jesus at the Second Coming and get to live with Him forever and ever.
Because the Gospel is true we can put our confidence and our trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and approach God with full assurance that He calls us His own, He calls us His children. Through the Gospel we are made right with God, completely. Declared perfect, blameless and pure - all because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection!
We are more than conquerors!
The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us! (Ephesians 1:19-20).
This is incredible! The power of God that overcame sin and death is alive in us! The power of the Gospel changes us from being victims to victors, alongside Christ! We can live victoriously in the midst of our circumstances, amidst difficulties and amidst our own fears, insecurities and even selfishness. Through the Gospel we have the power to do what is right, always.
And the greatest of all, we need not rely on ourselves. We can rely and keep on relying on Jesus. As He has already overcome every obstacle we might face, we can look to Him as the ultimate victor and put our trust in Him for our own personal, daily victories - and live all for His glory!