Easter Sunday is a day of celebration. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in history, and the fundamental reason for our hope and joy. Easter is the time for a full–blown, technicolor, bring out the band and let’s have a parade, celebration. If our focus is on the empty tomb and the risen Savior, there is no way to overdo Easter.
HOW WE GOT THERE
While celebrating Easter is good, we must remember the events that led to this climactic victory over death. If we don’t, we will have a shallow, short-lived celebration and fail to grasp the depth of the resurrection's meaning.
WHAT A WEEK!
Consider the events of the final week of Jesus’ life. That week was like no other, and is perhaps the most important week in history.
The week started with the excitement of Palm Sunday, the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. But even then, there were people who opposed Jesus. Many who were proclaiming Him as King were excited about the miracles they had seen, but not necessarily Jesus Himself. When the miracles stopped, the tone changed, and “Hosanna” turned into “Crucify Him.”
Fast-forward to that fateful Thursday when Jesus was let down by His sleeping disciples, agonizing in prayer in Gethsemane, betrayed by Judas, arrested by soldiers, abandoned by His best friends, denied by Peter, lied about by false witnesses, hit with fists, beaten with rods, spit upon, whipped by soldiers, rejected by the people, mocked by many, and had a crown of thorns placed on His head.
On Friday, the cries, “Crucify Him!” reached fever pitch. Pilate’s bloody hands were washed, Jesus was stripped of His clothes and forced to walk to his own place of death where He was nailed to a cross and left to die. On the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world, became sin for us, was separated from perfect intimacy with the Father, and then…
… He died.
Words can’t describe the horror of all Jesus went through on the road to resurrection. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, it was as bad as it can get.
Of course, none of these things take away from the glory of Easter Sunday. This is the day above all days to celebrate, dance, and shout,
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Jesus is victorious over sin, hell, and death itself! He will rule and reign forever, having won our victory and redemption!
Celebrate the resurrection, but do it every day, not just Easter Sunday. If you want to understand the depth of what you are celebrating, take time to ponder the road to the resurrection.
by Jimmy Aycock and the ILI Core Leadership team