The holiday season around late March or April is not “Easter” to me. I like to call this time of year “Resurrection Weekend," beginning with Good Friday, when God-made-flesh, the Savior of the World Jesus Christ was crucified, through Holy Saturday, when Jesus descended into Hell to announce “Mission Accomplished” to the believing souls awaiting Him; onto Resurrection Sunday, the day in which Christians celebrate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rising from the dead.
Jesus’ death signaled God’s greatest love to the world. There’s no point in paraphrasing, the words of the divine promise are so great:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus’ resurrection served as the divine receipt. He Finished the Work, conquering death, hell, and the grave.
God revealed Himself as a humble carpenter, born to the fallen line of David. Only poor shepherds and lowing animals witnessed his arrival, the only baby in human history born expressly to die.
His death transpired on a Roman Cross, the most extreme form of execution. Victims normally hung for hours, if not lingering for days, nailed to brutal wood, relentlessly tortured with nerve-wracking agony, all while struggling to breathe.
What was Jesus’ crime? Jesus, Himself, the Son of God, fulfilled every prophecy, ushered in a New Covenant, one in which God as Creator would forever resolve the problem of man’s sin, so that God as Father could welcome them as sons. What was the world’s response to God’s best, His Beloved Son? They hung Him from a tree. God gave His best; man responded with his worst.
Jesus, Immanuel, “God with us”, had remained with us, suffered as we suffered, never fell or failed despite the failings of man. Then He submitted to the will of His Father to die for us—for all of mankind. Even though the most evil—and ironically enough, they were the most religious—men of His day during His earthly ministry intended to eradicate Jesus and His ministry, they fulfilled God the Father’s wonderful plan of redemption for all mankind. This gift is available to all who believe on His name, the name of Jesus!
Why should we believe on Him?
John the Beloved, the disciple whom Jesus loved (because John practiced His love so intimately), writes:
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
Some may suggest everlasting life is the goal that human beings seek, something that pagan cultures had been searching for since recorded history. The Ancient Greeks believed in memorializing one’s efforts in writings and sculptures, although Shakespeare’s take on memory should give one grave pause: “The evil that man do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones”. Even man’s efforts to make himself live forever don’t last very long.
Man’s greater need, however, lies in acceptance, or more precisely, a sense of right standing, the easing of one’s conscience—the need for a never-failing Advocate. Every religion outlines a means for man to “make himself right”. The Aztecs engaged in human sacrifices. Other religions prescribe worship of ancestors, offering gifts to the dead. All faiths lay down some kind of penance. Yet these efforts never suffice. The raging of conscience is too great. Man knows right from wrong, yet doing wrong comes all too easy, and he tries—and fails to right those wrongs. Man needs a Savior, and he knows it.
Or man rebels, pretends as if he is fine just as he is. This is why among the political tumults around the world, why the aggressive, regressive, “progressive” left is so passionate in their cruelty. They do not believe in redemption, as Dennis Prager astutely pointed out to the UC Irvine College Republicans earlier this year. They won’t believe that man has a sin problem. Instead, they judge God and assault the natural order to suit their preferences. For all their self-righteousness, they cannot measure up, but rather fall, just like the First Man.
The Framers of the United States Constitution rightly understood man’s fallen nature and propensity to evil. Apart from the redemptive work of Christ, their political system of checks and balances remained the means to check man’s evil against his fellow man. Sadly, though, even these strains are now beginning to fail. John Adams wisely wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” That moral fabric, the Gospel, has faced unprecedented assault in the last ten years. Like anyone else, the political currents of our day are rocking, and getting rockier, because of a fundamental disregard for man’s greatest problem—sin, which produces death; and disdain the solution—redemption through propitiation, which produces life!
Enter the Gospel, which will never go out of style. Now more than ever, the world needs to know the truth about God, that like the Good Shepherd, diligent Housewife, and Loving Father detailed in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15, God wants to redeem and restore all of us to righteousness in Himself.
To those who believe on Jesus, let this season serve as an unwavering reminder that His love, His promises, His purpose have not abated, no matter how dark the world may become. The world is getting darker and darker, but because of Jesus, “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)
For those who may believe on Him one day, rest assured that the historical truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are well-established and attested to. Believe on Him today.
Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday!