What is Easter? What is its purpose? Why do we take time to celebrate this day? In our culture it is mostly a time filled with chocolate, bunnies, brightly colored eggs, ham and pretty new dresses. Some spend it with family and some may visit a church they haven’t been to in a while. And hear me say, these things, in and of themselves, are not bad. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate? Or getting a new dress? But Easter is so much more than Peeps and Cadbury Eggs. Easter is a holiday that brings hope more than any other. Easter is the culmination of Jesus’ whole life, everything that he was sent from heaven to do. That is the reason my heart bursts with joy on this day.
Easter is a day we celebrate that Jesus not only died a bloody death on a cross for our sins, but that death could not defeat him. He fully died on Friday, but rose back to life on Sunday. He was buried in the ground and three days later was walking and talking with his friends and followers again. This is amazing, but how does it affect my life right now, more than two thousand years later? Because his defeating death means that we too can defeat it through a relationship with him. He allows us to share in this victory with him!
Jesus gives us access to the ruler of the heavens in a way we can not obtain on our own. Due to our sin and imperfection, we are necessarily separated from God. Without Jesus we spend an eternity separated from God and his glory. But with Jesus, we defeat death and sin. We can spend an eternity WITH God. Through belief in the redeeming love of Jesus, belief in his death on the cross and his victory over death through his resurrection, we have hope. Hope in a way that we can not get any other way. Not through relationships with people, not through money or power, not through worship of other things.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. ~Romans 10:9-10
That’s all we have to do. We can’t earn it or buy it. There is nothing we can do to be worthy of the gift we receive through Jesus. It doesn’t matter how much money we have or how righteously we live or who our ancestors are. The gift is available to all equally. All we have to do is confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead. This relationship with Jesus that is so much more than religion is the only thing that can bring us true hope in this nasty, sinful, hard world.
So this Easter, I plan to celebrate with all my heart what Jesus did for us all those Sundays ago. To thank God for his free gift to us all and worship a good and loving God that had a plan to redeem me from my sinful, messed up life that I may not perish, but have everlasting life. And I will pray that people all around me, from all different backgrounds, will have joy overflowing from their hearts too, from the confession they have made of their belief in Jesus.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. ~John 3:16-17
-Written by Emily Weatherford. Emily is a part-time claims adjuster and full-time wife and mother to a six-year-old girl. She has lived in Tucson and been part of Cord of Hope for almost a decade. She is so thankful for the grace Jesus has shown her in her life and seeks to show that grace to others.