A popular Easter greeting is, “Th e Lord is risen! He’s risen indeed!”
The first Easter came after a very dark day, a day when Christ
suff ered at the hands of sinful men. Th ey reviled Him, spit on
Him, beat Him, Made fun of Him, made Him carry a heavy cross
and then crucifi ed Him. The duration of that agony must have felt
like a life time, but after the suff ering, Easter came. He rose from
the dead. Th e grave could not hold Him any longer; the tomb
was empty and the devil defeated. It was indeed a very mournful
day for the devil and his demons. His plans had been thwarted.
He had been trying to foil the plan of salvation since the birth of
Christ, but his doom was sealed on that first Easter. Amen!
Why did Jesus die? Why did He put up with everything He
went through? When the going got tough, why didn’t He give up
and abort the mission? He could have asked His Father for legions
of angels to fi ght on His behalf, but didn’t: and He sure could have
called down fire from heaven to destroy those murderers, but He
He died to fulfill the Scriptures. He died to save us, to open
for us the way into the Holy of Holies. Now the gulf between God
and man has been bridged by Christ authorizing us to “approach
the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.
Christ has made us acceptable to the Father!
He died out of love for mankind and out of obedience to the
Father. In the garden He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take
this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42.
During that bogus trial, when Jesus wouldn’t answer Pilate,
Pilate said to Him, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free
you or to crucify you?” John 19:10.
Jesus responded, “You would have no power over me if it were
not given to you from above.” John 19:11.
Jesus’ response proves that man did not have the fi nal word
about His death; He could have avoided dying if He wanted to. So
what kept Him on the cross? It wasn’t the will of man; it wasn’t the
nails, but love. In John 10 He says, “The reason my Father loves me
is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes
it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority
to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” V 17-18
Jesus also likened Himself to a shepherd, and as a good
shepherd, He laid down His life for the sheep. John 10:11
He died so that we won’t have to. “I tell you the truth; whoever
hears my voice and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and
will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
He is alive so we can live forever. “Because I live, you also shall
live.” John 14:19.