Why Easter is important
For many people Easter is a time of the year when you enjoy days off work, gather with the family and eat chocolate for breakfast. For many people Easter is fun but unimportant. And yet truth be told because of the resurrection of Jesus, Easter is incredibly important. Let me give you three reasons as to why Easter is important:
1. Jesus’ suffering – he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows
In the bible the Easter story begins with Jesus’ betrayal, trial and torture. In this time his emotional and physical suffering is unimaginable. Jesus was brutally flogged, mocked, beaten and spat on. While this suffering is shocking, it wasn’t a surprise for Jesus, he predicted that this would happen to him (Mark 10:33-34). Interestingly, Jesus wasn’t the only person who predicted this suffering. Five hundred years before Jesus’ time the prophet Isaiah talked about a ‘man of suffering’ who would be despised, rejected and familiar with pain like Jesus was.
Now why did Jesus have to suffer? Jesus’ suffering was part of his Messiahship and demonstrated his humanity. Like you and I suffer, Jesus suffered. But Jesus suffered voluntarily, on our behalf, to bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. In other words, Jesus suffered for our sake and our sin. He was inflicted, so that we could be healed. Jesus went through hell, so that by faith in him, we can go to heaven.
2. Jesus’ death – he paid for our sin so we don’t have to
Following Jesus’ trial and torture, he is nailed to the cross and dies (Luke 23:44-49). It was a horrific death; crucifixion was considered the most painful and ultimate punishment in the Roman empire and was a shameful way to die. But once again this didn’t come as a surprise to Jesus, several times he predicted his death, for example in Luke 9:22 he said, “he will be rejected by the chief priests and scribes and killed”.
So why did Jesus have to die? Well, Romans 3:23 tells us all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. While Romans 6:23 tells us that the punishment for sin is death – death that separates us from God. But the good news of Jesus’ death on the cross, is that Jesus dies in our place, so we can be reconciled to God. In other words Jesus takes on the ultimate punishment we deserved – eternal death and eternal separation from God.
3. Jesus’ resurrection – he gave us new life
The climax of the Easter story is Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:1-10). When Jesus’ friends visit his tomb they find the stone rolled away and an angel tells them ‘He is not here, for he has risen’. The resurrection is considered so important that Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:17 that if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead then our faith is futile.
So why did Jesus have to rise? The reason why Jesus’ resurrection is so vital, is that it shows God’s power over death, and gives us hope that we also can be raised from the dead (Romans 8:11). The resurrection is the foundation for hope. The suffering and death of Jesus is critical, but the resurrection is the climax of the Easter story. It allows followers of Jesus to confidently declare ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ (1 Corinthians 15:55).
Want to know more?
If you would like to find out more about Easter than please join us for Easter! We have services on Good Friday (April 15) at 9am or on Easter Sunday (April 17) at 8:30am, 10:30am or 6pm. We are a church of multiple cultures and multiple ages, so everyone is welcome!