and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise
The picture today is of Superman. See if you don’t agree after reading the information below that Jesus Christ is our Superman. No one else could have accomplished what He accomplished.
Many people believe that Jesus died but not why he died. As we saw in our last two posts, Jesus claimed to be equal with God. Either he was delusional or this was an important point that he wanted us to understand. As it turns out, it is very important and very critical to the reason for his coming in the first place. Because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve (Gn 3), sin was passed upon all mankind (Ro 5:12). This severed the relationship that mankind had with God. It could not be repaired. God’s standard is perfection and mankind is not so there is nothing that we can do that will be good enough for God to accept (Is 64:6). Therefore, the only thing God could do was to repair the damage for us. Well, that seems a little ironic, you say? God makes the standard for perfection for the payment for sin which no human can make but then makes the payment Himself. Well, that is because God is both a God of justice as well as love. He cannot go against His justice and He will not go against His love.
Therefore, Jesus being equal with God was crucial to the whole concept of reconciliation. Jesus, who was the original second person of the Trinity, came to be born in human form so that he could identify with humanity in order to be the sacrifice of perfection that God required. God had laid out the groundwork with the Israelites so they understood the sacrificial system and the necessity of a sacrifice. However, these sacrifices had to be done repeatedly and atonement done yearly. All of this pointed to the inadequacy of this system and to a sacrifice in their future where the perfect sacrifice would be accomplished. That is what Jesus Christ came to do: to appease God’s wrath against sin and to pay the sin debt that God required. Because of Christ’s death on the cross, our sin debt is paid and if we accept this payment and recognize that only by His death on the cross can we be perfect before God, we become an adopted child of His, and, because he rose again conquering death, we can one day live with Him forever. That is one of the important reasons for His first coming. All you have to do is avail yourself to what He has already done for you. It is free to you (not to Him) but you have to accept it. He will not force it upon you. It is a simple act of faith – a choice for each to make, but a choice that will change your life forever – both here and now and into eternity.
That is why Jesus Christ is the Lord of Easter. What about Passover, you say? Well, Passover will begin today at sundown. Today, Passover combines three festivals provided by God to the Israelites: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits (Lv 23). All of these are important to what Jesus Christ did for our sin payment. He died on the cross at the beginning of Passover, was in the ground during Feast of Unleavened Bread, and rose again on First Fruits. If we accept Him as our Savior, the consequences of our sins are passed over by God because of the blood of Christ shed for them (like the blood on the doorposts of that first Passover – Ex 12); his sacrifice was sinless and perfect as bread without leaven (or yeast) signifies, and by conquering death and rising again makes His resurrection the first fruit of our resurrection; because He rose, we too will rise to be with Him forever. Isn’t it amazing how all of this works out as prophesied by these Jewish festivals?
So where does Easter come in? Well, that is another long story that was previously explained (see 10-Nov-2012 post). However, the bottom line is that it is still about Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Whether you celebrate Easter for that reason or First Fruit for that reason, it is God that still gets all of the credit. We owe a great deal of debt to our Savior Jesus Christ. He is worthy of being our Lord as well. After all, He is the Lord of Easter, why not make Him Lord of your life as well?
Easter versus First Fruits
Biblical Antinomy: Free Will vs Predestination
Gap in the Timeline