The Meaning of Easter

Christians around the world will soon be celebrating Easter.

What is Easter all about? Is it about the Easter Bunny, colored eggs, and Easter egg baskets? These are all enjoyable customs, but these things are not what Easter is all about. Easter is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith and forces us to think about other very important biblical truths. For example, the resurrection of Christ automatically suggests His sinless life and crucifixion upon the cross, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). His life and death presuppose His coming down from heaven and becoming a man, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). But the heart of the Christian message revolves around the cross on which Jesus died.

What was Christ’s death on the cross all about? Certainly, it was the worst sin ever committed in the history of mankind. But the murderous actions of sinful men in crucifying the sinless Son of God fulfilled the eternal purpose of God. The Apostle Peter said to a crowd of Jews concerning Jesus, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:23). Why was it God’s “determined purpose” to deliver His own Son to be crucified? Because God had planned that His beloved Son would give His life as a sacrifice for our sins, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).

So, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is vitally connected to His coming into the world as a man and His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins. Maybe you’re thinking, “OK, I understand the significance of Christ’s incarnation and His crucifixion; but why is His resurrection so important?” The resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrated that Christ’s sacrificial death for sin was effective in righteously appeasing the wrath of God toward sin, “[Jesus] was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:25). Jesus Christ has completely paid the penalty for sin in behalf of those who trust in Him!

This Easter season, think very seriously about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Think about your own sins before a holy God and your own desperate need of salvation. Praise God that He “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)!