Easter is a highly celebrated event whether you are an Episcopalian, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, or "Christian" or some other doctrine you subscribe to. With its themes of Jesus' triumph over death and His resurrection, we prepare ourselves for the Ascension of our Lord.
It is important to remember that Salvation is not just a historical event that occurred in the distant past to other people in other areas. Easter is truly an opportunity for rebirth for those who grasp it. The spiritual energies available during the resurrection are available here and now.
People interested in their spiritual growth and well-being eagerly look upon the Easter season. The rituals we observe allow us time for reflection, prayer, and repentance, which can lead to our rebirth.
The early Christians no longer focused on the exodus from Egyptian Bondage but on a new kind of departure from the Bondage of sin to the new life of our Risen Lord.
Sometimes during the weeks preceding Easter, I have a feeling of discomfort, of sadness. I walk around moping, not entirely understanding why. Maybe it is because, in a way, I am in mourning. Perhaps, I am mourning the loss of a part of my essential self. Even though my sinfulness is something I need to eradicate, I still mourn its loss. Why do I do this? Why does anyone do this? I think it is because the behavior patterns of sin become familiar to us, and we feel oddly comforted by their familiarity. ~Marlene C Bertrand
Sinfulness lies deep within a person; it is an attitude, a willingness to turn one's face away from the Creator. Often we are not even conscious of this shift away from God.
Only after one realizes that he has turned his face away and separated himself can he hope for perfect reunification. But how do we move from our deeply flawed state of sin to reconciliation? The followers of Christ have been furnished with the cure. Through the saving action of Christ, each of us has been reconciled to God. Once and for all, Jesus has paid the price for us to redeem ourselves.
Jesus Died For Us
Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was nailed to the cross. Yes, He was nailed! If you have ever had injections at the doctor's office, you know the feeling of pain that came with that skinny little needle. And, in a few seconds, the pain was gone. Now imagine what it was like for Jesus to have nails driven into His palm as He hung on a cross so that he could bleed until He died. The weight of His body certainly added to the torrential pain.
Can you imagine the pain He certainly suffered? And, He suffered that pain for you and me.
Good Friday was the day Jesus died. And then He was resurrected on Easter Sunday. If we study the work and the teachings of Jesus, we find nothing but selfless giving and miraculous cures. Jesus could cure miraculously because He was the Son of God. But did He gain any material comforts? Any pleasures? Not really. He didn't gain any goods from what He did. And, still, He lived a life of giving beyond measure. We read story after story of Jesus, the man who, while He Himself suffered, took away the sufferings of others. Even His death was excruciating. And remember, He suffered that pain for you and me.
He suffered that pain so that our sins could be forgiven. He sustained that pain so that our slate of sin could be wiped clean, and we can now have a genuine relationship with God, our Creator.
What does Jesus' life teach us? It teaches us not to give suffering to others but take suffering ourselves. It teaches us to comfort others. It teaches us selfless giving. It teaches us to forgive even if extreme pain is inflicted upon us. It teaches us to love all and hate none.
We must remember that life is a series of stops and starts, spiritual advancement and spiritual retreat. We have "spiritual growth spurts" throughout our lives until the day we die. The spiritual energy of the Easter Season affords us a unique opportunity to grasp hold of our redemption.
Let us celebrate Easter Sunday, remembering the teachings and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The Lord wants us to spread peace by living and giving selflessly. We honor Him by spreading goodness, happiness, and cheer worldwide.
I hope that this Easter, you will take the opportunity to explore the reason for the season in your own life.
We at Voice of Hope wish you a very Happy Easter!
Photo Credits: Photo by Rodolfo Clix: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-image-of-person-praying-1615776/
Copright 2023 Marlene C Bertrand
Marlene Bertrand is an evangelist and a reputably ordained minister. In 2012, Marlene established a ministry with Christian House International to share the gospel with the world. Through Voice of Hope, Marlene hopes people will learn about the Lord, our Savior and will come to know, love, and trust Him for a life forever in the Kingdom of God.
He has risen!
In my blog post about Good Friday, I spoke about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died on a cross so that our sins could be forgiven. But, there is more to this true story. Jesus rose again on the following Sunday and we call this day Resurrection Sunday. Some people also call this day Easter and reference the Easter bunny and other such pagan rituals that should be discussed separate from this blog post.
In any event, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a critical part of the story about how Jesus died for our sins. His death was important because his death was the living sacrifice that was needed in order for our sins to be reconciled. However, Jesus’ resurrection, following his death is critical because as the story goes, Jesus made many promises that his death would not be the end. He promised he would come back to life.
Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Matthew 28 tells the story of how on the third day after His death (Sunday), an angel from heaven came down from heaven and opened the tomb. When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb, they found it empty. The angel told them that Jesus had risen, just as He said he would.
They went and saw the place where Jesus laid and were happily amazed. So they hurried away to go tell Jesus' disciples. And then suddenly Jesus, himself met with them and said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Resurrection Sunday… He Rose!
Because Jesus came back to life as he promised, we can believe this and all of the promises he made to us. Jesus’ resurrection changed many doubters into believers. By raising Jesus, God showed the world that they would ultimately answer to Him for all sins.
Jesus kept his promise then and he will keep his promise now.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Today's Video: Amazing Song About the Resurrection!
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