Sometimes I’ve heard people say, kind of as a joking-type warning, something like “Well, Jesus tried to help people and look what happened to him.”
Here’s the deal. Nothing happened to Jesus. They didn’t “do” anything to him. The crucifixion wasn’t a terrible ending to a good life. It was a deliberate, loving, voluntary plan that had been set in place from the beginning of creation. Before Eve took that first bite, the plan was in place. Jesus was never blindsided. He not only chose to die, he orchestrated every moment of it.
Why? Ok, here’s where it gets a little complicated… Because God wants a relationship with us. He wants us to love him and he wants to be able to show his love for us. For us to love him, we have to have the choice not to love him. To choose not to love him meant that we would be spiritually separated from him, which is death – not just physical death, this is temporary stuff. Spiritual death, which is eternal. To show his love for us, he had to be able to do the greatest possible thing, which was rescue us from that spiritual death, even after we chose it, even after we chose having our own way over loving him. He had to give the most costly gift that could ever be – God himself had to die to conquer death so we could choose life again. We could choose to love him again.
Christmas is the big holiday in our society. It has stretched out to about 3 months now, if you count from when stores start decorating. And I truly love Christmas, everything about it. But, as far as spiritually meaningful holidays, this weekend – Good Friday and Easter – is everything our faith is about. This is what we celebrate! Jesus loved me so much that he chose to give his life for me. And to prove he was (and is) God, and death is truly defeated, he rose from the grave. Can you imagine? Standing and having a conversation with someone you watched violently die three days earlier? Having him make you breakfast? Having an angel tell you “He’s not here, he is risen!” Wow – if that doesn’t get you excited, you need to talk to God and figure out why.
Here’s a song for Easter – listen and enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8yQ1I4Wofc
This good news is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! As a human, he was from the family of David. But the Holy Spirit proved that Jesus is the powerful Son of God,because he was raised from death. Romans 1:3-4 CEV
The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed. “Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.” Matthew 28:6-7 MSG