So what does this really mean? Why is this day so important to those of us who follow Christ? Why is this about so much more than bunnies and eggs? Why? Because the resurrection changes absolutely everything.
The cross was God’s mercy. Jesus paid our debt. It’s like someone paying off your mortgage after you have lost everything in a fire…that you started. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He was saying that the sin debt I owed was paid in full.
The empty tomb is God’s grace. God is offering underserved favor. Not only did He completely pay the debt, He built a mansion to replace it. Easter is our “move that bus” experience. Remember the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show? Everything is falling apart in someone’s home and ABC comes in and builds them a brand new one, often finding ways to pay off the mortgage for the old house. A picture of grace. Amazing.
On Easter morning, Jesus “moved that stone” and revealed an awesome Life for us, a resurrection Life. This life will allow my dear friend Karin, who is bound to a wheelchair for her entire life, to run to her father (who died almost 10 years ago) when she sees him again. It will set another friend free from the terrible depression that often overwhelms her. This Life will allow the last moment of conflict before the accident to be resolved, the last goodbye to never be needed. Because of Easter, all will be well. Because of Easter, hope is real.
I know so many people that stop with Good Friday. Jesus died for my sins. Yes, He did. But He also rose from the dead and offers us the same power in our lives to be transformed and truly changed. Because of the resurrection, we no longer need to strive to be good enough for God. Because Jesus beat death, we can abide in Him and rest in His transforming presence.
I know that every word I choose to describe what the resurrection means will fall short, maybe even cheapen the power of Easter. I think that God has to show us in His own way. My prayer for you this Easter is that Jesus will so penetrate your heart that you will be at a loss for words as you try to describe His impact. I pray that your hope is so powerful that no amount of discouragement can overtake you. I pray that His grace so grabs you that you can’t imagine breathing without Him.
He is alive! He is alive, indeed!