The Meaning of Easter; April 21, 2019


2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

What a marvelous passage for Easter! Actually, the message of Easter is throughout the New Testament, because it is absolutely central to the Gospel, as I will be preaching this morning. This verse describes what happened spiritually at the cross. At the time, Jesus was the only one who was aware of what was going on, but He considered going through all that agony to be worthwhile to accomplish this. What love! Everything about God’s plan of salvation is amazing, when you think about it. We sing, Amazing Grace, but it was also amazing love and even amazing wisdom. God knew that nothing less would be sufficient to deal with the sin of mankind, so He was willing to do what was necessary. We don’t really grasp that very well. We don’t grasp how utterly sinful it is that we ignore our Creator and move out on our own. We were created for fellowship with Him, and yet we turn our backs on Him and fail to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. If a human inventor makes something that doesn’t do what he intended, he destroys it, or at least abandons it. God didn’t do that, but rather gave of Himself to redeem us, to restore us to the purpose for which He created us. That He would go so far to do that is really beyond human comprehension. The more we grasp it, the greater our praise, gratitude, and obedience. When we fall short in any of those areas – and we all do, all too often – it is a demonstration of our lack of appreciation for what went on at Calvary. Today we celebrate the full follow-through, that Jesus rose from the death He died in our place, showing that in Him we too have eternal life. If that doesn’t fill you with joy, nothing will! Going back to this verse, believers are positionally the righteousness of God, but that is still being worked out in this life, and will be completed when we stand before Him. We aren’t to despair at our failures, but know that the cross was sufficient for those too, repenting of those sins and receiving God’s full forgiveness and cleansing. (1 John 1:9)

I have as much need to meditate on the cross as anyone. Lee Grady just wrote a beautiful piece for Charisma about how Jesus was fulfilling Psalm 22 on the cross, and since He quoted the first verse of it, (Matthew 27:46) was probably thinking about it the whole time. I would do well to meditate on not just that Psalm but on all the implications of what Christ did for me personally, not just dismissing it as abstract theology. It is too easy for preachers to forget that the messages they preach are for them, too, and not just for their congregations! I too need to walk constantly in praise, gratitude, and obedience, because my Lord is worthy of nothing less.

Father, thank You for this reminder, and for the computer crashes that have caused me to write parts of it multiple times. That helps cement it in my heart and mind! May I indeed live it out, and communicate it effectively to others as well, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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