Easter! We all know it’s not about Easter bunnies and colored eggs or candy. It’s about Jesus. More specifically, Jesus raising from the dead. But, do you know WHY that’s so important?
First off, it’s the one thing that makes it possible for you to receive forgiveness of sins by faith. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says, “If Christ be not risen, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain.” In other words, it’s the power of God to resurrect Jesus that makes your faith possible. Otherwise, the whole thing is a waste of time – from preaching to believing, to repenting and even praying. It all hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.
In verse 17, of the same chapter, we find that, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.” That’s right, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, you and I are still lost and under the power of sin.
Why? Because when Jesus died for us, He poured out His blood as the price for our sins. “The wages (or payback) for sin is death. Something or someone dies when there’s sin. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” of sins (Hebrews 9:22).”
Jesus gave His life as a substitute for you and me and for everyone else in the world, when, He died on the cross. His blood was given to purchase eternal life for you and me…and for anyone and everyone who will partake of the Gospel.
But, how do we know God accepted Jesus’ blood as the price for our salvation and eternal life? By the resurrection! If He had just died and His body rotted in the grave, we’d never know whether or not God accepted His sacrifice. We’d still be lost in our sins. It’s the resurrection that PROVES God accepted Jesus as our sacrifice and as the atonement for our sins.
That’s why, to be saved, one of the conditions is to BELIEVE that God raised Jesus from the dead. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9).
Jesus died to pay the outrageous debt we incurred with God by our sinning. The evidence that God accepted Jesus is that God raised Jesus from the dead, conquering our last enemy, death.
The resurrection is also proof that Jesus really is who He said He was. Anybody could claim they were the Son of God. Some people might even be able to work miracles by the power of the devil, just to deceive people. But Jesus, after bringing the love of God to the multitudes, laid down His life, and took it up again.
Jesus, the Great Shepherd said in John 10:15,17, “…I lay down my life for the sheep. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again.”
Jesus laid down His life for us because He loved us SO much. He could look ahead and see your life, your pain, your sorrows, and also your deliberate sins and rebelliousness. Even with all that, He loved you enough to lay down His life for you. All this, so you could have a real chance to know God and walk with Him in this life. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down His life for his friends (John 15:13).
Another thing about the resurrection of Jesus, is that by releasing your faith in the resurrection, you receive power over sin and self-destruction in your life.
The power in the Apostle Paul’s lie came from his faith in the resurrection of Jesus. He said his goal was this: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10).” It’s the resurrection power of God that gives you power over the sin in your life.
Romans 8:11 says, “if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” This means that, if you have the Holy Spirit in your life, God’s power will be released in you, so that you’re no longer ruled by your carnal nature and self-destructiveness.
If God could raise Jesus from the dead, couldn’t He raise YOU out of your sins? Couldn’t He raise YOU out of your hopelessness? Couldn’t He raise YOU out of that same old sin that keeps on taking you again and again?
Here’s a story told by Richard Hoefler in his book, Will Daylight Come. A little boy and his sister spent the summer at their grandparents. Grandpa gave Johnny a slingshot. He said, “be careful with this, and never shoot it at people or animals.
Johnny agreed and spent the next couple of days shooting trees, cans and rocks. On the third day, he saw Grandma’s pet duck swimming lazily on the pond. Without thinking, he let fly a big round rock across the pond. It flew through the air and hit the duck squarely on the head.
Scared of getting in trouble, Johnny ran out into the pond, grabbed the duck’s body and buried it under a pile of wood near the barn. When he stood up, proud of his quick thinking, he turned and saw his little sister, with both hands on her hips. She called him in the house to eat dinner, and never mentioned what she saw.
Johnny didn’t say a word throughout the meal. He kept waiting for his sister to tell on him. Instead, when dinner was over, and Grandma asked her to do the dishes, she said this: “Johnny told me HE wanted to do the dishes for the rest of the summer, Grandma!”
Then Sis turned and said super sweetly, “Isn’t that RIGHT, Johnny?” what could he do? He did the dishes! Each day, when it got time for chores, Sis had Johnny do HER chores as well as his! One day, he started to protest and she kicked him under the table and whispered, “Remember Grandma’s duck!”
After a few weeks, Johnny just couldn’t take it any longer. He went to Grandma and cried as he told her the full story. “I didn’t mean to, Grandma, but I killed your duck, and his the body!”
Grandma hugged him and said, “I know! I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing! I forgive you! But I had to wait until you came to me and told me what you did. I wondered how long you’d let your little sister keep you as her slave!”
It’s the power of Jesus’ resurrection that breaks the bonds of slavery and guilt off of us. When you and I know that Jesus paid the price for our sin, and that the Father loves us, we can come to Him for forgiveness and strength to overcome sin.
Realizing that nobody took Jesus’ life from Him, but that He willingly laid it down for you, because He loves you and helps you to be faithful to Him. You know that He loves you and believe in you.
Last, knowing that He’s been resurrected means this: He’s alive today to give you strength, power and help to overcome those forces that are trying to destroy you and your loved ones. You can call on Him and He will help you with His resurrection power. He has the power to pull you out of any situation and to plant your feet on the solid rock!
Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to go by him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession (that means He’s praying for you) for them.”
Jesus is alive right now! Death couldn’t hold Jesus in the grave. That means that NOTHING can hold Jesus back in YOUR life, either! There’s NOTHING that is too great for Jesus to overcome in your life!
That’s why you NEED to turn your life over to Him. Give him your fears, worries, problems and sins. He’s able to handle ALL of it! If death couldn’t stop Him, neither can that problem that keeps coming back to you! Give it to Jesus and let Him prove His resurrection power in YOUR life!