Easter is not of equal importance to all people. For those who hold to atheism, agnosticism or humanism it may be just a holiday. For christians, all over the world, it is a time to remember Jesus’ victory over death and a means to have our sins absolved and a guarantee of life with him in the future. Jesus’ resurrection is proof that God exists and loves his creation.
Most everyone is familiar with what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Just as an aside, historians think that the Garden of Eden was situated in what is today Iraq. The apostle Paul said, Romans 5:12, sin entered our world by Adam and Eve not following the instructions given by God. If taken literally it was a serpent that mislead them. In any case the serpent was evil, a concept they did not understand. The scriptures relate in Ezekiel, how Lucifer, a long time ago, became arrogant and was turfed out of heaven onto the earth and became Satan. Adam and Eve, God’s creation, one can be sure, were Satan’s prized targets. Some readers at this point may wonder about the question of Adam and Eve versus early man. This will not be pursued now. The main stress here is that evil exists due to the actions of Satan. The posts of May 2014 and June 2014 have some related information.
Because Adam and Eve failed to follow God’s instructions they sinned. The result of this was and still is, that everyone is subject to both physical and spiritual death. Satan and his angels, now evil, do their best to destroy humans. Satan does not like humans, so tries his best to prevent people from accepting God’s forgiveness.
Adam and Eve having broken God’s law and having been mislead by Satan, created a situation that needed addressing. What they did was a serious matter. The scripture in Hebrews 9:22, explains God’s perspective about sin, where it states, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins,”. God for Old Testament times established a procedure to follow to receive forgiveness by sacrificing animals.
The shedding of blood was an extreme action which was a strong reminder that sin had serious consequences. It spoke of life and death. Easter was in the distant future but for a time it was a way of receiving forgiveness. Some may wonder whether God was pleased with all the sacrifices. He wasn’t. Isaiah 1;11 records God’s perspective when he said, “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well- fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats”. These sacrifices would have continued indefinitely but God had another plan. He knew there would be an Easter in the future.
The Godhead, namely, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit implemented a plan that would provide a permanent means of forgiveness for all humanity. John 3;16 explains the plan. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed on him would not perish but have everlasting life”. God’s son, Jesus, would come to earth and become a sacrifice so that all people for all time could receive forgiveness, if they asked for it. Jesus was the “Son of God”. The sacrifice of a mere man or an angel would not have been adequate to provide forgiveness. The death of Jesus, the Son of God, as deity, meant that the blood of deity was shed and always available to do away with our sins. This forgiveness is available to us today no matter who we are or where we are. It doesn’t matter if one is currently perhaps espousing theism, agnosticism, atheism, humanism, or some other belief system, Jesus died and was raised from the dead to provide forgiveness for everyone if it is accepted.
A simple model prayer might be, “Father God, I believe Jesus died on the cross for me and I ask that you forgive me for all my sins. I believe you raised Jesus from the dead and I receive Him now as my personal savior and friend.
Talk to God in your own words too, and invite ‘Jesus into your heart’.
Always remember that Easter tells us that a great miracle happened about 2000 years ago. Jesus died and rose from the dead, so we can have forgiveness now and when we die we will be with him for all eternity. If you accept him he will never leave or forsake you!
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