Easter is the celebration of the most significant event in world history: the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Easter represents HOPE for every person.
When God created mankind, He created us as eternal beings. We were never meant to die. The first man and woman were without flaw, and had a perfect relationship with God and each other in the Garden of Eden. There was no sickness or disease, and no physical, emotional, mental or relational flaws. It is difficult for us to imagine how incredible it was.
God clearly instructed Adam and Eve to enjoy all He had created and freely eat from any tree except one, the tree of knowledge – if they ate from that tree, they would truly die. When Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate from the forbidden tree, sin entered the world, causing an immediate spiritual death, and inevitable physical death. Hebrews 9:27 tells us it is appointed unto man once to die. We all have an appointment with death – but that was never part of the original plan! It is the result of sin.
1 Corinthians 15:26 says the last enemy to be abolished is death. Jesus conquered death for all of us through His own death and resurrection – that is the HOPE we have in Him, and the HOPE of Easter. 1 Corinthians 15:27 says Jesus has put all things in subjection under his feet. All things, including sin and death, are subject to him and because that’s true, we can have life. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 tells us But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable and the mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to GOD who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul also wrote If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19). Yes, we hope in Christ in this life. But our ultimate hope is an eternal one. Because Jesus defeated sin and death through the cross and his resurrection, we can have the assurance of eternal life if we put our trust in Him. We can be confident that the last enemy has been defeated! When we pass from this life, we will live forever in heaven with him, in a place where everything is exactly as it was mean to be from the beginning.
If you have not yet put your trust in the Lord Jesus, I pray you will do that soon. If you already have, then I pray that Easter will be a reminder of what He did to conquer death and grant us the gift of eternal life. We of all people have reason to rejoice and celebrate!
- When is the first time in your life that you understood that something was not as it should be in this world, or the first time your life was touched by grief or death? How did you cope with that knowledge?
- Wherever you are in your spiritual life, how does the idea of Jesus’ defeating death affect you? Take some time to talk to him or ask him questions about that.
- Does the idea of Jesus defeating death on our behalf sound too good to be true sometimes, or too easy (for us)? Take some time to pray about what it means to have a God who is so loving, so merciful – who would go through suffering and death because of his love for you.
-- Written by Senior Pastor Bill Lenz.
Come celebrate His resurrection on Easter Sunday, April 16 at 8:00 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am. (Interpretation for the Deaf and hard of hearing at 8:00 am. At 9:30 am and 11:00 am, there will be Son Harbor for children ages infants – 5th grade.)