Quotes

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Easter is celebrated by Christians around the world each year, in remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Gospels record that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, then rose from the dead the following Sunday and appeared to His disciples and many others in the next few weeks.

Jesus’ original 12 disciples would go on to give their lives to spread the message of Jesus throughout the known world.  Later Christians, from the first century until our own time, have likewise given their lives to tell the message of Jesus.  Why is Jesus’ resurrection so important?

Jesus, Himself, gave us the reason.  Just after the Last Supper, on His way to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He would be arrested and taken for trial and crucifixion, Jesus had a long conversation with His disciples.  During that conversation, not only did He tell them that He would soon be killed, He also said, “Because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:19, NKJV)  Jesus’ resurrection is the proof that Jesus is who He said He was, and that He can give eternal life, like He said He could.

If Jesus were still dead, His claim to be able to grant eternal life to those who put their faith in Him would be suspect.  But since Jesus is alive, His promises are true.  Paul, the Apostle, put it this way:

“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! … But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:17, 20, NKJV)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key to the Christian faith – proof that our Savior lives, and that He has power to give eternal life to all who believe.  That is something worth celebrating!

Why Celebrate Easter?

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Good Friday is a day that Christians around the world remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  Although the crucifixion is central to the Christian faith, the title given to the day seems to be a misnomer.  What is good about a gruesome execution?  Paul, the Apostle, answers that question in the Book of Romans.  He writes:

For God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  (Romans 5:8-9, NKJV)

In this passage, Paul explains the meaning of Christ’s crucifixion.  In doing so, he lists two facts about the crucifixion that are good for us – facts that make the event Good Friday.

First, Paul states that the crucifixion is a demonstration of God’s love.  Not only has God said that he loves us, He has demonstrated it in the death of Christ.  The reason that it is a demonstration of love and not madness is that Christ died “for us.”  Christ died in our place.  He took the punishment we deserved, because He loved us.  He did so, even when we did not deserve it.  For God to love us that much and go to such great lengths to demonstrate it, is good news indeed!

Second, Paul states that the crucifixion delivers us from the guilt and punishment of sin.  Christ’s death makes us “justified” (no longer guilty) in God’s sight, because the punishment has already been paid and the slate is wiped clean.  When we put our faith in Christ, we need not feel guilty anymore.  The term “justified” is past tense.  It has already been done, once and for all.  Also, we will “be saved from wrath through Him” (future tense).  God’s approaching judgment will not effect the believer.  Jesus has already taken the wrath of God that we deserve on Himself, so we don’t have to.  Being forgiven and pardoned is certainly good news!

God’s love and forgiveness that was obtained and demonstrated by Christ on the cross is available to anyone who will ask.  If we are willing to turn from our old ways and follow Christ, we can ask and receive eternal life.

“For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'” (Romans 10:13, NKJV)

 

Good Friday…What’s It Good For?

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