When you think of Easter, what images immediately come to mind?

Church?

Jesus?

Candy Basket?

A New Outfit?

A Bunny?

An Empty Tomb?

White Lilly’s?

Colorful Eggs?

As with most things, the passage of time has clouded the meaning of the day we call Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. What was once a most sacred holiday, reserved for the remembrance and celebration of Jesus being raised back to life, now has become a convoluted mixture of the holy and the secular, with the lines distinguishing the two becoming more blurred with each passing year.

All that aside, this post is simply a reminder of the reason we celebrate Easter, which is that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and rose to life victorious over death, Hell, and the grave. Easter without the Resurrection would not be Easter. It would be just another day. The Crucifixion without the Resurrection would be just one more of a thousand deaths at the hands of the Roman executioners. The Resurrection, however, makes all the difference.

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. Matthew 28:1-6 NKJV

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said“. Here, in this simple sentence comprised of just eleven words, is what I believe to be the most important announcement ever heard by mortal ears. Jesus, the slain carpenter from Galilee, is no longer among the dead but has risen in power and victory over no less than Satan himself. Contained in His resurrection is complete, eternal freedom from the shackles of sin that had bound mankind since the fall in the Garden of Eden.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15 KJV

The fear of death has always held men in bondage. The grave, and what is beyond, has always been the great unknown, a place where no one has returned from to tell the rest of us what awaits us when our time here is finished. Jesus Christ however used death to destroy the one who had the power over death, that being Satan.

 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. Romans 6:8-10 ESV

We who know Him as Lord have died to this world, raised in Spirit to live with Him. Death no longer has the hold on us that it once did. Yes, we will die physically, but the same power of Resurrection that brought Jesus out of the tomb will also bring us from the grave when the trumpet of God sounds.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1st Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV

The Resurrection may mean different things to each of us, but one thing we share in common is that it brings hope to the hopeless. I was once hopelessly lost in sin, as were you. As the old song says “I owed a debt I could not pay, He paid a debt He did not owe”. None of us could overcome death by ourselves, we needed a death conqueror to fight this battle for us and to win back the relationship that man once enjoyed with God.

This Easter, among the hustle and bustle, among the activities and family dinners, won’t you take a few moments to reflect upon this incredible thing we call the Resurrection?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Ron