“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NLT
Across the globe, people have gathered to celebrate Easter, the holiest day on the Christian calendar. Some of us have ridden the emotional roller coaster of the week leading up to Sunday, when we remember how the story played out over 2000 years ago.
Just a few days prior to His crucifixion, Jesus, honored through misunderstanding by crowds of potentially millions of people, rode on the back of a donkey being hailed, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13). Christians know the day as Palm Sunday. What happened between Sunday and Wednesday that caused the people to switch sentiment and cry out, “Crucify Him!”? (John 19:15). If a poll had been taken on that day, very few in the crowd would have understood the true mission of Jesus Christ on the earth. Amid both exalting Jesus and then yelling for His crucifixion, people simply got caught up in the human hype failing to understand who He really was to them.
Fast forward to 2023…who do you say Jesus is? As you celebrate Easter Sunday, do you believe Jesus is the Messiah, Immanuel, God with us; that He left heaven, came to earth to die for your sins and mine, was buried for three days and rose from the grave? Do you believe that Jesus spent forty days on earth following His resurrection, seen, and heard by hundreds of people, who then watched Him ascend into the clouds of heaven where He now sits at the right hand of God the Father? Do you believe Jesus will return to the earth one future day as He said He would to gather up His “Church?” Do you believe there is a future day of judgement for those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their Savior, who died for their sins?
Friend, too much is at stake to not know for certain the answer to these questions and why. We may celebrate or deny the Easter story in a crowd, but we will stand one day before Holy God, alone, with or without Jesus by our side. He is our only Defense!