Now a word from my sponsor.
As a Christian and an author who writes from a Christian perspective, I would like to write about Jesus Christ, the God who puts power into my life.
Easter is upon us, and I wish everyone a happy Easter. No, I don’t mean eggs and chocolate bunnies. Of course they are fun, and indirectly symbolize the resurrection, but the real meaning of Easter is sacrifice and victory over sin and death.
Easter itself is a pagan holiday, that Christianity has usurped. The Christian meaning of Easter is related to old Testament sacrifice. During the plagues in Egypt, God, through Moses, commanded each family to sacrifice an unblemished lamb and use the blood to mark the door of the house. This act of faith signaled the angel of death to pass over the house where Hebrews lived. Thus was the origin of Passover.
As Moses lead the Hebrews through the wilderness, God instructed Aaron, the high priest to offer an unblemished animal on the Day of Atonement and sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat that formed the top of the Arc of the Covenant. That blood symbolically covered the sins of the people, but only for a year.
Centuries later John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and declared, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Most of you know how Jesus was arrested, and whipped and crucified. Thus he was fulfilling John’s words, for Jesus was no mere man. Jesus was God incarnate, or God come down to live among man. He suffered the same joys and the same temptations we do, but because he was God, he did not sin. Thus he was the unblemished lamb, the only man worthy of being our sacrifice. The only man worthy of being our substitute on the cross, for in truth, you and I should hang on the cross the pay for our sins. As God, he was also our high priest. Is it a coincident that Jesus was crucified on the eve of Passover? No, Jesus is our passover lamb, and also a sacrifice to atone for our sins.
Aaron and his successors were sinful men. Thus in spite of all of the ritual purification they went through, the blood they sprinkled on the mercy seat provided only a temporary atonement for sin. Jesus, being both the sinless high priest and the perfect, unblemished sacrifice, provides permanent atonement for ever.
At the time, no one other than Jesus’s followers understood any of this. Even some of his followers thought the cause was lost when the saw Jesus die, but to prove his deity, Jesus rose from the grave three days later, the day Christians call Resurrection Sunday or Easter.
Eggs, chicks, rabbits and candy are fun and have their symbolic place, but the real meaning of Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. All denominations of Christian churches agree that he or she who believes in Jesus, both receives atonement for their sin and everlasting life.
There is some disagreement among denominations over what constitutes belief in Jesus. My faith is that Jesus is looking for a personal relationship with each of us. One can be a member of a church without having a personal relationship. One acquires this personal relationship by praying for Jesus to come into one’s life as a personal Lord and Savior. Lord, because Jesus helps the individual to travel through life in ways that please God. Savior, because we acknowledge that it is this blood sacrifice that covers our sins. Otherwise we would be unfit to have any kind of relationship with God.
Happy Easter, and this Easter season, please ponder the sacrifice that was made for you. Jesus was both God and man. He had the power to call a legion of angels to rescue him, but he chose to die for us. He chose to die in our place. He chose to cover our sin with his blood so that those who believe in him become worthy to be called the children of God.
As you enjoy your eggs and candy, pray to Jesus for redemption. Confess your sins to him and invite him into your life as Lord and Savior. If you do, your life will never be the same again. You will have the Lord of Life as your partner.