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Many will celebrate Easter, a ‘holiday’ that celebrates Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. A holiday that mankind should celebrate with extreme joy and abundant thankfulness! With much sadness, however, millions upon millions of people, know Easter as nothing more than new clothes, colored eggs, and the Easter bunny! Sadly, many totally miss or deliberately ignore the true meaning of Easter.
So, let’s go back thousands of years to Jerusalem and watch Jesus being led through the streets, hearing shouts of ‘Crucify Him, Crucify Him”. We’ll notice blood trailing down His face due to a crown of thorns hatefully shoved onto His head. We’ll watch Him stumble as His body is extremely weakened by a vicious beating at the hands of soldiers. We’ll gasp as we see deep, gapping wounds on His back. Reaching Calvary, we’ll tremble as soldiers pound nails through Jesus’s hands, and drive nails through His feet to secure Him on the cross.
But why, why did Jesus suffer such horrible agony and death? Very simply….HE did it for you and me! But why did God allow His Son to suffer such cruelty? The answer is revealed in II Peter 3:9! God is”… not willing that any should perish (Hell/Lake of Fire) , but all should come to repentance (compunction/regret).” ( Also, John 3:16-19)

Easter is a time for rejoicing, giving praise and endless thanks to Almighty God for giving us His Son, who suffered death……FOR US! “He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (pardon through God’s grace)”. (Romans 4:25)

But what would have happened if Jesus had not willingly gone to the cross? If He had prayed to His Father (God) asking for 12 legions of angels ((Matthew 26:53) to rescue Him from the mob in the Garden of Gethsemane, or had called on legions to protect Hm against the brutal crucifixion? Each of us would be doomed to Hell.
But there was far more than just His cruel crucifixion. A few years ago, I walked into Jesus’s empty tomb, and put my hand on the empty slab where Jesus had been laid. Fully understanding that JESUS SUFFERED AND DIED FOR ME, I wept, knowing that His death, burial and resurrection have provided me with eternal life!

It is imperative to understand that Jesus’s resurrection was REAL , PHYSICAL , a concrete fact; a fact witnessed by at least 500 people after Jesus arose – ALIVE - from the tomb. Others watched Jesus’s ascension into Heaven. (Luke 24:36b-40; 50-53) Obviously, the chief priests and Pharisees, although not believing, took the Lord’s promise to arise on the three day quite seriously. Why else would they have secured the tomb with a huge stone, and set a watch? (Matthew 27:62-66) Additionally, if Jesus’s tomb wasn’t empty, why did people believe grave robbers had stolen Jesus’s body? His resurrection is NOT some spiritual representation of rising above our human difficulties. Jesus defeated death!

Other religions have ‘holy’ days to celebrate, but have any gods of other religions been victorious over death? Have any other gods come back to life after death? Have they been seen? Shouldn’t one question how Buddha, Krishna and Brahma, Vishnu, Allah and any other so-called gods offer everlasting salvation, answer prayers, provide an unbelievable peace? After all, dead men are incapable of doing anything. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name (Jesus) under Heaven given among men, whereby we MUST be saved!” (Acts 4:12) A clear statement of fact!

How glorious is the reality that anybody can turn to Jesus, and through faith and belief call upon Him, and receive everlasting life! “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him (Jesus) from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Nancy Hamilton

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