JESUS CONQUERED DEATH!
Blessed Easter! Many, many countries are celebrating Easter this weekend when this writing is published. Some countries are celebrating a little later. It really doesn’t matter when you celebrate Easter, but that you celebrate the most important event in history. Many people take a vacation in the mountains to go skiing during Easter holidays in my country and many of them could not care less about the content of Easter.
When I was a child, I lived in a home where I heard a lot about the suffering of Jesus Christ. I hardly dared to smile on Good Friday. I know that this sounds like an exaggeration, but that’s how it was in my childish mind. I really do not want to minimize the suffering of Christ. We can read about His anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was struggling with fear and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful. It actual says that His sweat became like drops of blood. He really wished that some of His disciples could be awake and pray with Him, but they went to sleep and probably didn’t understand what was going to happen. The most important event in history was going to take place. The importance of that special Easter is ignored by many people even today but it was long planned by God. This agony in Gethsemane was so great that Jesus was saying to His Father: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) He allowed the Father’s will to rule over Him. When we pray “Our Father”, we say: Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Do we always meant that and practice it? I do not think so. We might not fully understand what it means. Jesus understood it and He was willing to suffer. Why did He do it? To save you and me from eternal suffering in hell. Some of you might think that I exaggerate now. No, God doesn’t tolerate sin and none of us are without sin. Jesus was the only person free of sin and He was the only One to take our sins. It actually says that Jesus bore the sins of the entire world. When God allowed His only begotten Son to be crucified as a criminal, He did that in love for humanity. Every person can come to the Father without sin since Jesus has taken them. We must make a decision and accept His sacrifice. This is done in faith and not by human reasoning.
Jesus died on a cross after He was tortured and mocked. The film “Passion of Christ” has described this almost better than any other film about Jesus. The suffering was not to describe, but I am very thankful that the history doesn’t end there. There is a continuation that permits me to give this writing the title: Jesus conquered the death.
Easter isn’t only a memory of a terrible suffering, but a time of joy and thankfulness for life. Jesus died and He was buried. The opening of the tomb was covered with a huge stone and guards were placed outside the tomb in fear of the disciples. They thought that they might steal His body. God isn’t stopped by stones nor by guards. In the morning after the Sabbath some of the women went to the tomb of Jesus. There was an earthquake and an angel came down from heaven and rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb and he sat on it. The countenance of the angel was like lightning and his clothing white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel 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. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. (Matthew 18:5-8) The women went to the disciples and Jesus met them on the way. They worshipped the resurrected Savior, Jesus. He asked the women to talk to the disciples and asked them to go to Galilee where He would appear to them. We read in the Gospel of John that Jesus said to Mary that she shouldn’t touch Him since He hadn’t been to the Father yet. In the evening Jesus appeared to the disciples and he showed them His side and hands. He said to them: “Peace be with you” He was also breathing on them and told them to receive The Holy Spirit. The disciple Thomas wasn’t there and didn’t believe that Jesus was risen from the dead. Jesus allowed him to put his finger in His side and hands and then he believed. It might not be so easy to understand everything that happened around the crucifixion, the resurrection and what happened to Jesus during the forty days from resurrection to the day He ascended to be with the Father, but we must hold on to the important things:
He took our sins, opened a way right to the Father. He conquered the grave and was risen from the dead. In Colossians 2:14-15 we read that He wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us. He nailed it to the cross. Jesus disarmed principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them. Both Isaiah 53:5 and 1.Peter 2:24 say that in His wounds, we are healed.
Jesus made it possible for the entire mankind to be without sin and sickness and to get victory over the devil. In the old Covenant they sacrificed animals and once a year the High Priest sacrificed on behalf of the people. The Bible describes in detail how it should be done. This is now for ever over. Jesus became the Sacrificial Lamb.
I have been to Israel and visited the empty grave. It was a special feeling to know that Jesus conquered the grave and the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive. On Easter Sunday we often greet each other by saying: He is risen and the other answers: Yes, indeed, He is risen. The core of Christianity is preached and proclaimed during Easter time and that is that there is no condemnation, but an eternal salvation for those who believe. The key is to believe in Jesus and receive Him in our heart.
Easter comes with life, eternal life.
Jesus gives life, the devil is spreading death. I will recite the Letter to the Romans 5:20+21 “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The same chapter is saying that the old man was crucified with Christ. We who received Jesus as our Savior are having the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead living inside of us. We do not have to live as slaves to neither sin nor the temptation of the devil. We are over and not under, we are head and not the tail.
During Easter we sing songs about the fact that Jesus quenched the sorrow for ever and ever and He gave us life and light. One song goes like this: Thine be the glory, the Lord over death. The death is now under Christ and that is for all eternity.”
A BLESSED EASTER HOLIDAY!