With the Easter holiday approaching, I wanted to take us back to the reason for the season of why we really celebrate Easter. As I enter into stores my eyes are bombarded with empty plastic eggs, Easter baskets and bunnies. Really the Easter bunny has nothing to do with why we celebrate Easter. The world has made the most holy of holidays into propaganda. The Easter and Christmas holidays have become a reason to spend money on gifts that have nothing to do with what is actually being celebrated.
Why do we celebrate Easter? What does it mean to us?
The reason for the season isn’t the Easter bunny but to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus and what he did on the cross for us. The only way to describe what Jesus did for us is to take us back before Jesus was born. Once Adam and Eve took a bite of the apple from the forbidden tree, sin entered into the world. From that point on sin separated us from God. God who made us, loves and made a plan for us to be made right before Him through the atonement of our sins.
“The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.” Exodus 12:5
In the Old Testament those who sought forgiveness for their sins would choose a sheep or a goat to sacrifice on an altar. A person would receive atonement for their sins from the blood of the animal being shed.
“It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.” Exodus 12:46-47
Specific instructions would be given to choose an animal without blemish or broken bones and how to prepare and celebrate the animal after being sacrificed. The animal wasn’t just a sacrifice for sins, but something to be consumed by the community afterwards, not to be wasted.
Passover is a holy holiday that the Jewish community celebrates the Passover in which “the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:27. (To read more about the Passover read Exodus 12:21-28). Every year the Jewish community celebrates Passover by sacrificing and consuming a Passover Lamb.
The last week that Jesus was alive on earth, the Jewish community was getting ready to celebrate the Passover. Little did they know their lives would be changed forever.
The turn of events that happened before Jesus’ death were orchestrated by God Himself. Jesus told Peter he would be the one to deny Him and that Judas would betray Him. Once Jesus was in the hands of Pilate and the Roman soldiers He was….
flogged and a crown of thorns were placed on his head. John 19:1
he was struck, spit on, the crown of thorns was twisted on his head and He was given 39 lashes. Mark 15:19
The horizontal crossbar of the cross was tied around the arms of Jesus in which He was made to carry up the hill of Golgotha (which weighed 75-125 pounds, the whole cross weighed 300 pounds) John 19:17.
Jesus’ arms and feet were nailed to the cross. Each wrought iron nail was 7-9 inches in length. Mark 15:24
This is merely a glimpse of what Jesus endured and went through. There were two other men hanging on the crosses with Jesus. The Sabbath was approaching. The Sanhedrin went before Pilate to ask him to not allow any bodies left hanging on the crosses during sundown on the Sabbath. This particular day was the day before Passover their most holy of holidays. They asked Pilate to have the ‘ legs broken and the bodies taken down’ (John 19:31).
Death was lingering too long, so Pilate ordered the legs of those hanging on the cross to be broken. The weight of a person’s body usually caused their death on the cross after their legs were broken, from asphyxiation–crushing their own lungs.
The Roman soldiers broke the legs of the other men first. When they came to Jesus they discovered He had already died and did not break His legs. “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true.” John 19: 34-35.
Why is this all so significant?
Isn’t it amazing that after all the beatings, the flogging, the crucifixion and piercing Jesus endured that not one bone was broken in his body?
“These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled. Not one of his bones will be broken” John 19:36Click To Tweet
While Jesus was on earth He was without sin and defect, He was perfect.
“but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” 1 Peter 1:19.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” Isaiah 53:5.
Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities and received a punishment we deserved. All of His suffering was not for nothing. It was to fulfill the greater plan of God.
Jesus is the Passover lamb. He is the Lamb of God. In the Old Testament, when instructions were given for the Passover Lamb, it was to be prepared by roasting and cooking it by the fire. From the beginning of time, God was preparing us. It wasn’t enough to just sacrifice the lamb, but to also partake in it. The lamb wasn’t meant to just be observed, but also be consumed by the people (Exodus 12:46-47). Jesus didn’t come to just be observed on the cross, but to be consumed in our everyday lives .
What does this mean for us in our everyday lives?
“God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” 2 Corinthians 5:21Click To Tweet
Jesus dying on the cross for our sins changed everything! The sacrificial lamb no longer needed to be sacrificed for every sin. That lamb can only atone one person for their sins. Jesus, the Lamb of God, came to shed His blood making it possible to atone all for their sins.
Jesus died once to pay the price for all.
Jesus isn’t just a figure in our lives that we observe on the cross. He desires to have an active role in our lives, a relationship with us–to give us life-giving sustenance. When we choose to partake in the beautiful message of Easter, in the good news of the gospel, we are loving God with all of our heart, all of our mind and all of our soul (Matthew 22:37).
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” Colossians 2:13-14
When Jesus died on the cross, it gave us a chance to nail our own sins on the cross. Jesus’ act of taking our place, dying on the cross for our sins is something He did one time, but is something that gives eternally forever more. Jesus loves us so much, He took our place for us so we can be in heaven one day with Him. You are loved! I pray this Easter you will partake in the Lamb of God and celebrate the reason for the season.
'For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord' Romans 6:23Click To Tweet
His gift to all of us is eternal life. Have you accepted God’s gift of eternal life this Easter? When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, death has no power over us. Have a Happy Easter!
Isn’t it amazing how Jesus became sin for us, took our place and suffered for us?
Why do you celebrate Easter? What does Easter mean to you?
If you died tomorrow, do you know for sure if you will go to heaven?
He is our redeemer, our Savior, our Healer, our God is capable of anything. God makes the most perfect and amazing plans.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” John 3:16-17
It’s all about meeting Jesus right where we are. In Him we have life to the full that is complete and everlasting. Have a blessed week!
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