People all around the world will be celebrating Easter this Sunday. But for the Christian, Easter means so much more than colored eggs, candy baskets, and a visit from the Easter bunny; it’s a day where we recognize and celebrate the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And to gain a better understanding of the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for us by his death on the cross, we’ve been taking a closer look at particular events surrounding the final week of his life — events marked by his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.
With this in mind, we first concentrated on the Last Supper and how the sacrifice of Jesus correlates with Passover. Then we explored the events leading up to the arrest of Jesus and why the religious leaders wanted to see him dead. Those events brought us to the trial of Jesus — or more specifically, to the conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate concerning truth. And last week, we focused on the lessons taught by the two thieves crucified alongside of Jesus.
This brings us to the most important event of mankind: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But what makes this event so important?
First, the resurrection proves the claims Jesus made about himself — that he is fully God and fully man. If he had stayed dead in the tomb then his claim of being God would have been worthless. But that isn’t what happened. Jesus demonstrates — by rising from the dead — that he has power over life and death, proof that he is who he says he is...he is God.
Second, the resurrection of Christ is proof of the validity of Scripture. Since the resurrection proves the claims Jesus made about himself — that he is fully God — then he obviously speaks with absolute certainty and final authority. And with absolute and final authority, we’re told that the Bible is inspired by God and contains no error (Psalm 12:6; 2 Timothy 3:16).
Third, the resurrection is proof that believers are delivered from judgment. Scripture teaches that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And because all people have sinned, all people deserve death. But Christ took what we deserve and died on the cross on our place. The apostle Paul says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (Romans 4:25). Paul is saying that Christ’ resurrection conquered sin and proves that he has the power to save us from death and judgment also.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26). Jesus is not only saying that he is life, he’s also saying that through him believers will also overcome death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
So why is the resurrection of Jesus so important? It proves who Jesus is. It proves the truthfulness of the Bible. And it proves that the penalty for our sins have been paid in full.
But more importantly, the resurrection of Christ proves that we, too, will not remain in death but will instead be resurrected into eternal life with our Savior (John 3:16).
And that truth is always worth celebrating.
Donna Hughey is an award-winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.