For most people in the world, even most Christians, Easter goes as far as pastel colors and hunting for plastic candy-filled eggs. But Easter is more than that – it is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We need to know why that matters.
See, the hard truth to swallow is that Christ died as a sacrifice, to appease the wrath of God. Everyone has sinned, everyone has fallen short, and we are measured compared to perfection. Holding anything above Him is sin – video games, pornography, football, or even simply ourselves.
But I can hear you asking, “How could a loving God send anyone to Hell?”
God loves the world, and God is love, but He must have justice. The love of God does not cancel out his justice. Here’s a little easy argument for you:
If God did not confront the sin of every man, then He would be a moral coward. He is not a moral coward – and so He must confront sin. Justice must take place.
A crime against a man is nothing; a crime against God is absolute. The penalty for crime against the ultimate authority is ultimate damnation. Someone had to pay the cost that sin is, to fill the gap. Someone has to pay for the absoluteness of our idolatry.
If that’s where the story ended, then we would all be doomed. But God sent Christ, to substitute for our penalty, and he took our sin upon his shoulders. He endured the cost. He was the perfect sacrifice for sin.
Paul wrote that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (NIV, 2 Corinthians 5:21)
We can’t save ourselves. We are separated from him in every way.
But Christ was sacrificed for us, and to prove that He was God, He came back from the dead.
That’s the evidence of our faith. It’s what we rest on. And it’s what Paul rested on as well. Paul was brilliant, and he had every reason to remain a Jewish Pharisee. In his own words:
“If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” (Philippians 3:4-7)
Paul gave up everything to follow the ministry of someone who had publicly died. If he didn’t genuinely believe, that was nuts. It was literally suicidal. But he had seen Christ:
“After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:6-8)
He is risen. Through His sacrifice, sin has been defeated.
It’s what we live for.