Sunday, April 4, 2010

2000 years ago

Easter weekend is great.  Everyone runs off to some holiday destination, or spends time at home barbequing, watching footy and drinking till they pass out.  They look for chocolate eggs in the garden and tell their kids tall tales about the Easter Bunny.

Some of my friends wish me a happy Easter, because it’s a time to enjoy life’s pleasures.  Depending on what you mean by that, it’s a great message, but it’s not the real message of Easter.

All of us have to die sometime. Some of us die peacefully in our sleep at an old age, after a life full of special moments and joy.  Others die a violent death at an early age.  Some are killed even before they’re born.  Others die due to their own stupidity, drunkenly ramming their car into a wall at full speed.  We don’t know when it’ll happen, but it will happen to all of us one day.

2000 years ago, someone died.  He died a violent death at the hands of merciless people.  He had a choice to make – he could renounce some accusations that were made against him, and could go free.  But he chose to be silent, and died after being tortured for hours.  People divided his clothes amongst themselves and mocked him while he was hanging from a piece of wood like a slaughtered animal.  He was physically nailed to an advertising board like a plank - like some sort of cheap commercial for the local government.

We all deserve to die.  None of us are perfect.  Except for this one man, who was without sin, and who no one could truthfully witness against.

There were many witnesses that day who testified to this event.  Jesus was crucified on a wooden cross, and they confirmed his death by sticking a sword into his side and seeing blood and water pour from the wound.  Four of these witnesses even went so far as to write down an account of what happened.

They removed him from the cross, wrapped a garment around his naked body, and buried him in a tomb.  They posted two guards at the door, which was a massive big boulder that one man could not move by himself.

This man was truly dead and buried, and his followers and family wept and mourned his death.

And then something supernatural happened.  This man arose from the dead, and walked around for 40 days showing the wounds in his hands and his side to those who questioned his death.  Once again, hundreds of people testified to this event, and four of them even wrote it down.

This was not a normal man.  He was not just a politician, a military leader or even a prophet.  He was the Son of God, and he conquered death.

We all deserve to go to hell – whether you want to believe this or not.  But He died for our sins because He chose to.  He conquered death and gave us eternal life.  It’s a free gift that he gave.  You have a choice to accept this and believe it – no one is forcing you to believe or do anything.  We all will face the throne of God one day, and if you don’t have this free gift on your side – that was your choice.

That’s what Easter is all about.

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