As we now live in a generation where many have grown up without an understanding or appreciation of church life, I thought it was time to offer a basic explanation of why Christians get so excited about Easter. Below I have listed 7 points that reveal the miracle of Easter and how we can all benefit from it!
1. Easter is the fulfilment of the Jewish Feast of Passover
When the Nation of Israel was in slavery in Egypt for 400 years God sent Moses to deliver them and lead them out of bondage and into the promised land of Israel. Pharaoh, who was the ruler of Egypt refused to let God's people go, so God sent many plagues upon Egypt to force them to release His people. (Exodus Chapter 12)
Pharaoh had previously forced the Israelite's to abandon all their male babies so that they would die, in an attempt to maintain easier control over the slave population. In light of Pharaoh's continued refusal to release His people, God's final judgement was the death of every firstborn child in Egypt. God protected Israel by commanding them to kill a sacrificial lamb and placing some of it's blood upon the lintels and doorposts of their homes as a sign to identify them from the Egyptians.
When the Angel of Death came over Egypt it saw the sacrificial blood on the Israelite's homes and Passed Over them before releasing God's judgement upon the firstborn of Egypt.
Jesus was identified by God's prophet John The Baptist as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" In the same way the blood of an innocent lamb protected God's people from judgement in Egypt 1,000's of years earlier, so Jesus was destined to be our sacrificial lamb that we also might receive God's forgiveness and mercy and that His judgement would pass over us. (John 1:29)
2. Easter is the fulfilment of many Biblical prophecies
For thousands of years God's prophets had spoken of the one who would come to restore the nation of Israel to it's former glory and make it a light to the world. Many of these prophecies predicted that the Messiah would come at a specific time, at a specific place and in a specific way to deliver God's people out of the bondage of sin and restore the kingdom to Israel.
Jesus fulfilled every prophecy about the coming of the Messiah and revealed that the Kingdom of God was at hand and available to all mankind.
3. Easter is the incredible culmination of a perfect life lived
Jesus was born when God's Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary's womb in fulfilment of what was told her by the Angel Gabriel. His birth was divine in nature and that is why He is called the Son of God. However Jesus was still a man and He was required to live a perfect sinless life, keeping all the commandments of God, that He might become mankind's replacement on the cross and fulfil the righteous requirement of God. (Luke 1:26-38)
Giving His life for the sins of mankind was always Jesus goal in life, and one that He alone was qualified to fulfil.
Jesus walked this world with kindness and humility, healing the sick, raising the dead and performing many wonderful miracles. His life revealed the goodness and kindness of our Heavenly Father and showed His great desire for mankind to be reunited with their Creator. (Acts 10:38)
4. Easter is where the Justice of God meets the Mercy of God
God is the Creator and Judge of the whole world, and in that role He requires that justice must be done. However as our Heavenly Father He also longs to show mercy if He can legally find a way to do it. He can not merely overlook wickedness and act like it doesn't happen. (Ezekiel 18:4) (Isaiah 53:6) (John 19:28-30)
Knowing that man had no way to pay for his own sins, God prepared a way that mankind could receive His mercy and forgiveness while fully satisfying His requirement for Justice.
At Easter Jesus was crucified not for His own sins but for the sins of all mankind, He was the perfect sinless sacrifice that was offered in our place to fulfil all the requirements of God's Justice and grant all mankind an opportunity to receive His Mercy! (Mark 8:31)
5. Easter was the fulfilment of God's Plan to restore mankind back into relationship with Him
Ever since Man fell into sin in the Garden of Eden, he has been estranged from God spiritually. When Adam and Eve sinned their very nature changed and they came under the power and influence of the one who had deceived them, namely Satan. (Genesis 3:14-15)
Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one and to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
All those who believe in Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection can be born again of God's Holy Spirit and be restored into a wonderful daily relationship with God. This relationship is a major part of God's plan for our lives as individuals and is a precursor to experiencing the joys of God's kingdom with Him forever. (Ezekiel 36:26-28) (John 3:3)
6. Easter is where Mankind became able once again to enjoy the life that God had always desired for them.
When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden it was because they had fallen into a sinful state through disobedience to God's command. With the entrance of sin into mankind came physical death and all generations that followed were subject to the loss and grief that death brings us all. (Genesis 3:22-24)
God in His mercy prevented Adam and Eve from living forever in a sinful state by stopping their access to the Tree of Life which was only found in the paradise of Eden.
The gift of eternal life is made available again to every person when the power of sin is broken over their lives through faith in Jesus Christ. A glorious future awaits God's children who have chosen to believe in God's Son and be restored back into relationship with our Heavenly Father. (John 3:36)
7. Easter is the birth place of the Church
Jesus spoke to His disciples numerous times about His upcoming death and how their sorrow would be turned to joy. Good Friday is the day when we celebrate Jesus death on the cross, why do we call it Good Friday you ask? Because His death made a way for our sins to be forgiven before God it was a very good Friday for mankind. (Matthew 27:45-54)
The miracle of Easter didn't stop with our sins being paid for by Jesus on the cross, an even greater miracle occurred on Easter Sunday when Jesus physically rose from the grave, after conquering death and revealed Himself to His disciples numerous times proving to them that His resurrection was real. (Matthew 28) (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
The Christian Church was begun on Easter Sunday and has continued throughout the ages to follow Jesus command to go into all the world and preach the good news of God's Kingdom to every nation and every generation. (Mark 16:15-18)
Easter In the 21st Century
The reason why this is still important to us in the 21st century is because we still face many of the same challenges that people did 1,000's of years ago. Mankind still longs for a real relationship with God our Heavenly Father, still struggles with the concept of sin and it's negative results in our lives, and we still need a Saviour to help us to find God's forgiveness and our way back to the security of an eternity in Heaven. (John 14:1-3)
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