For many, Easter stirs memories of family gatherings, chocolate bunnies, egg hunts and the traditional church visit.
But the roots of Easter form the core of Christianity. Easter is a celebration of God’s unconditional love.
God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life:
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16
- In regards to a full and meaningful life, Jesus said: “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” –John 10:10
First the Bad News
Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, we have all inherited the sin nature. Because of our stubborn self-will our fellowship with God has been broken. Our sins—both active rebellion and passive indifference— have separated us from God: his love and plan for our lives.
- “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” –Romans 3:23
- Because God is holy and just He will punish sinners: “The wages of sin is death,” [spiritual separation from God]. –Romans 6:23
But God doesn’t want to leave us in our wretched sinful state. From Genesis to Revelation, His sovereign plan enfolds.
- Jesus died in our place: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8
- Jesus rose from the dead: “Christ died for our sins. . . He was buried. . . He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures . . . He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred.” -1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Jesus Is the Only Way to God
Jesus bridged the gulf that separates us from Him when He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
- Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” -John 14:6
But it’s not enough just to know these truths.
We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Then we can know and experience God’s love and purpose for our lives. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” -John 17:3
God’s offer of salvation and fellowship is a free gift that we receive in Christ through faith: “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.” –Ephesians 2:8-9
- “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” -John 1:12
- We experience a new birth when we receive Christ. (See John 3:1-8.)
Salvation is not dependent upon our emotions, nor does it stand alone on intellectual agreement. Receiving Christ is as an act of the will through faith. Repentance involves removing self from the throne to placing God on the throne of one’s life. When we place Christ on the throne of our heart, He offers peace and joy, even when circumstances would dictate otherwise.
My prayer for you—if you have never entered into a relationship with God—is that you would seize this moment. The following is a suggested prayer, (although God isn’t as concerned about your words as He is with your heart’s attitude): “Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Please come into my life as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for giving me eternal life and forgiving my sins. Help me to be the person you desire.”
For those of us who have already placed our trust in Christ, may we continue to grow in Him, be thankful for Christ’s sacrifice, and share the reason for our hope with others.
I will pick up with Genesis 29 for Bible study next week. Have a wonderful Easter!