What does the celebration of Easter mean to you? Is it getting together with family to indulge in Easter candy treats or children having Easter egg hunts? Or is it a day of exchanging gifts in honor of the “Easter Bunny?” If this is your Easter celebration, how did these Easter traditions take precedence over and above the true meaning of Easter? The Easter egg hunt tradition and Easter Bunny became a pagan holiday tradition in Germany back in the late 16th century and has spread throughout the world.
The true meaning of Easter should, first and foremost, represent the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As Christians, we must be careful NOT to put other traditions or pagan rituals in front of or in place of God’s truth and His word. These can become idols in our life through self-centeredness and self-ambitions and will prevent us from our daily devotion and walk with God in Christ.
God is a very jealous God and when we put idols before Him, we commit spiritual adultery against Him. This is an abomination against God as we read in Ezekiel 6:9, “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.”
The Bible tells us that we are NOT to love the world but to love and worship God through our Redeemer, Jesus. God says if we love the world then we hate God as stated in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” Friendship with the world makes us enemies of God as revealed in James 4:4, “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Other religions claim to have a prophet or a god that they declare to know and worship by believing they will one day be redeemed, but these are false gods invented by Satan and his evil forces. These are NOT alive like the true Son of God, Jesus. These false gods are spiritually dead and profit nothing – Isaiah 41:29. Jesus is the true salvation and the only way to heaven. Jesus tells us there is no other access to God the Father but through Him as explained in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the chief cornerstone and head over the church.
God’s word tells us that Jesus alone saved us and this was NOT accomplished by our so-called good works or based on who we are or where we came from – Ephesians 2:4-10. For we were once sinners, and after being saved are a new creation by His Holy Spirit as revealed in Titus 3:3-7, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Even though Jesus was rejected, persecuted, and crucified 2,000 years ago, He defeated death, hell, and the grave and was Risen according to God’s sovereign plan as the disciple Peter states in Acts 4:10-12, “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
The prophet Isaiah foretold of Jesus, the Messiah, where He would be wounded for our sins and that by His stripes we would be healed as he discloses in Isaiah 53:5-6, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23. No matter what good deeds we have done in this world, they do not add up to God’s glory nor gain us access to His presence in heaven. Because we are all sinners in the flesh, we are in need of a true Savior, Jesus Christ. We cannot have communion and fellowship with God the Father unless our debts, the wages of our sins, were paid in full by Christ. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” God desires to fellowship with us and if He did not, He would NOT have given up His only Son for us.
The past repetitive animal sacrifices for sins and atonement as the old covenant were insufficient. We needed a true redeemer, a new spiritual covenant from God. A new covenant that only required one death from His only Son, Jesus, where He now sits on the throne at God’s right side for our behalf as stated in Hebrews 10:12-18, “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.”
We did not deserve this grace of God and gift, but because of God’s unconditional and unfailing love and mercy for us, He freely gave us salvation as explained in Hebrews 9:24-28, “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
Because of Jesus and as born-again believers, we are made alive by His Holy Spirit that dwells within us as we read in 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” Three days after Jesus was crucified, He was NOT in the tomb for He defeated death, hell, and the grave! An angel of the Lord rolled away the large stone for Jesus had Risen!
Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, went to the tomb to bring spices for Jesus’s body but found the stone rolled away with the tomb empty. Jesus had Risen as explained in Matthew 28:1-8, “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But 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 has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”
Paul gives us several eyewitness accounts of how Jesus had risen from the grave and was seen alive by making Himself known to many before ascending into heaven. He tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:3-11, “…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, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
The bible tells us that if we are saved, we will be raptured when Jesus returns for us prior to or during the tribulation period. Our corruptible bodies will be replaced with incorruptible, immortality, and eternal bodies to dwell with the Lord forever as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:50-57, “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Not all will be saved and many will experience eternal condemnation in the lake of fire. We must call upon the Lord and believe in our heart with faith that Jesus died for us and confess with our lips that Jesus is our Risen Savior! – Romans 10:9-13. If you are NOT a believer, you are doomed for destruction.
You can be saved with true salvation as illustrated in John 3:15-21, “…that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Watch this inspiring video by Servants for Jesus Christ – Jesus Fulfilled All OT Prophecies. Watch another inspiring video by Servants for Jesus Christ – God Has Always Been. Watch another inspiring video by Servants for Jesus Christ – Be Filled With The Holy Spirit.
Do you know where you will spend eternity after you die on earth? Will Jesus be your Lord and Savior or your eternal judge – John 3:15-21, Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:1? Jesus says He is the narrow gate to heaven where it is difficult to find and only a few will enter by it where many will enter the easy, wide and broad gate that leads to Hell and destruction – Matthew 7:13-14. Will you experience the second eternal death (spiritual death) – Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:6, Revelation 21:8? Do you know for sure that you are written in the eternal Lamb’s Book of Life – Revelation 3:5, Revelation 20:12-15? The place called Hell is NOT a myth and is very real and an extremely scary place – Watch this Video!
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