Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said

Why do we celebrate Easter? Is it because Wal Mart or people in the Blockbuster parking lot tell us we need to buy a bigger Easter basket than we did last year? Is it because we need to appease the Easter Bunny? Is it because Cadbury needs our money? Have you ever wondered why Easter is in a different time each year?

Easter (or more accurately Resurrection Sunday) is a celebration of salvation. The date for Easter is based on the Jewish calendar, which is totally different than ours. Passover falls on the 14th day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, the feast of unleavened bread begins on the 15th and lasts for seven days. The seventh day is the Feast of Firstfruits. Because Jesus rose from the dead on the Sunday following Passover, the Resurrection is likewise traditionally commemorated on the Sunday following Passover.


Because all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), we cannot come before a holy God because we have no sacrifice that will atone for our sins.


God "made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).


We may therefore "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).


Because Jesus died, he made atonement for our sins (literally, at-one-ment with God). To prove that He has power even over death, He arose from the dead. This means that we too have conquered death through Him, if we allow Him to become the Lord of our lives.

"Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone *from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

"But the angel answered and said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.'

"So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word" (Matthew 28:1-8).

Victory over our flesh on earth and eternal life in heaven. What a great deal! All we must do is come to Him and receive that forgiveness.

Why do we celebrate Easter? Because it is a celebration of our victory over death and an anticipation of eternal life together with Him in heaven.Why Do

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