Colored eggs, bunny rabbits, candy filled baskets and fancy outfits have all become the symbol of Easter. Jesus' resurrection is scarcely touched upon as all these other preparations have crowded him out of the picture. The extent of most Christians' knowledge of Easter is that Jesus died on the cross and three days later rose. Rather than a time of reflection and thankfulness to God, the account of Christ has simply become a mere story with very little meaning.
What makes Easter so special anyway, and why not share this special day with the Easter bunny? Jesus' death and resurrection are the most important events of all time. No other event even comes close to the sacrifice he made for mankind. Without his death, we would have no hope for an eternity with our God, in Heaven. During those agonizing moments in the garden of Gethsemane, he was in the valley of decision. He prayed for guidance and strength to do what God's will for him was to doto take the punishment of our sins, so that we could be reconciled with our Creator. Jesus willingly gave up his life for us.
The story doesn't end here. If this was all there was to Easter, it would be a solemn holiday with no reason to celebrate. Instead, we would lament Christ's death. When Jesus was laid in his tomb, those that knew him thought this was the end of his life. His followers were distraughthow can this man who opened blinded eyes, made deaf ears hear, walked on water and even raised others from the dead, succumb to death? It contradicted everything Jesus stood for and taught. He was supposed to be "The Resurrection and The Life," and the very Son of God! But what they didn't know, at the time, was this was all part of God's plan from the very beginning.
Anytime God's hand is in something, you can trust that life is the end result. Three days later, the grave began to stir and death began to quake. Death could not hold Jesus down and the tomb could not seal him in forever. Jesus had broken the power of death! If Jesus had remained in that tomb, he would not have been who he claimed to be. The words he spoke would have been buried with him. But his words are truth and "He is Alive!" He ascended to his Father, and is seated at His right hand (Ephesians 1:20).
Jesus gives all those who follow him this promise. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know" (John 12:2-4 NKJV).
So you see, Easter is a time of thankfulness to God for sending His Son to die for mankind as well as a time of celebration, knowing that, just as Jesus ascended to the Father, so shall we be with Him for eternity.
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