Why Does Easter Matter?

Why does Easter matter?

Does it? Really? If it does, how has it changed us … not just Sunday when we gathered together in our best or brightest (or in our t-shirts depending on your preference), but how does the resurrection of Jesus Christ affect us now … on Tuesday. After the candy high from the Cadbury Mini Eggs has fallen, after the fake grass from the Easter baskets has been vacuumed, after the last of the Easter ham has been made into a sandwich

What now?

Why does Easter matter? Easter matters because it is the invitation of God for relationship, for hope, for life.

Why does Easter matter?

Easter matters because sin carries the death penalty (Romans 3:23). No way around it.

My heart is sinful, I know it is. I know the jealousy and pride, the coveting and anger, all the junk in my heart and my mind. And as much as I would like to think I’d be like Mary of Bethany, pouring out my perfume on the feet of Jesus, the truth is, I could have just as easily been one of the crowd crying out, “Crucify him!”

Easter matters because of Good Friday. Because the Word became flesh and walked among us (John 1:14). Jesus came and became the tabernacle. The place where God meets man was no longer a tent.

We could never bring enough sacrifices. So Jesus became the sacrifice.

Jesus, who was tempted in every way but did not sin, became the propitiation for our sin.  He hung there on that cross. He wasn’t “not guilty”—He was truly innocent. In a way none of us will ever be innocent.  His flesh was never tainted by the choice to rebel against God.

Good Friday, the whipping and the taunting, the mocking and the shaming, the crown and the cross, it was all necessary.

The Passover lamb fully revealed as the Lamb of God.

The truest Living Sacrifice hung naked and beaten for all to see.

Why does Easter matter? It doesn’t—at least not without Good Friday.

Jesus’ resurrection only has meaning for us if His death had a purpose. We can only celebrate the risen Lord if we understand our desperate need for a Savior. The empty tomb only has hope for those of us who know the depths of our sin. The angels’ proclamation, “He has risen” brings joy only for those who realize our sin separates us from God but Jesus’ blood is the way to restoring the relationship.

Why does Easter matter?

Because Jesus died. The Son of God, Emmanuel, God with us, became God FOR us.

His blood, pouring from the gaping wounds on his head, thick and clotted where he was scourged, pooling beneath the cross as it fell from his hands and feet, that blood was the sacrifice needed to fulfill the Law. All the goats and rams and lambs and bulls would never be enough.

Jesus’ words, “It is finished,” declared the hope we all have now—the Law fulfilled in Him and by Him.

And I’m left to wonder, why do lyrics like “On the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied” offend people, people who claim the name of Christ, who would call themselves “little Christs”? Why does the idea of God’s wrath being satisfied through His own Son offend?

God’s wrath is at sin … always. There is no way or place for sin and God to coexist.

But isn’t the goodness and mercy of God most beautifully seen in the cross of Good Friday? Isn’t the sending of His only begotten Son (John 3:16), the incarnation, isn’t that the fullest revelation of His love? That God knew we could never do or be or offer or give enough to satisfy the needed price, so in His love He sent His Son.

Without Christ on the cross, without His blood, Easter is just the story of a good man, not the God-Man.

We can’t have Easter’s celebration without Good Friday’s crucifixion. It’s impossible. Because the WRATH of God was satisfied by the LOVE of God.

Why does Easter matter? Easter matters because it is the invitation of God for relationship, for hope, for life.

Easter matters because when we realize our inability to ever be good enough, to ever do enough good, when we get to the end of ourselves and realize there’s nothing we have of worth, nothing to bring to the table—when we come face to face with the gore and grit and grime and the grace, the glorious grace, of Good Friday, that’s when we finally understand Easter matters because it is the invitation of God for relationship, for hope, for life.

So what now?

How does Easter change us? Now, on a normal Tuesday with kids and crazy schedules, with meals to cook and laundry to clean, with work and rest … how does Easter change us?

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