Why do Christians get so excited about Easter? Why does Jesus’ resurrection have to be such a big deal? Isn’t it just the big event Christians dress up for in the spring? What makes it so important?
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the key turning points of God’s redemptive story for the world—and the most critical one. Here’s how it fits into the whole story.
Jesus, as the second person of the Trinity, has existed eternally, before the Creation of the world. Genesis opens the Bible telling the story of how God the Trinity created the world. The Gospel of John also writes about how all of creation came into existence through the Word, Jesus. The entire Old Testament foreshadows Jesus, the coming Messiah.
The Incarnation was the event when Jesus, the God man, gave up his place in heaven and took on flesh to come down into human history as an infant. He was born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph, in fulfillment of multiple prophecies in the Old Testament.
At the Atonement, Jesus was crucified on a cross. In doing so, he took the sins of the world—past, present, and future—upon himself, paying the penalty of death that all our sin carries. Without Jesus’ death on the cross, every one of us would be in slavery to and under a death sentence for our sin forever, with no way to pay the debt. Through the Atonement, Jesus offers the continuous gifts of salvation and freedom from all sin. To everyone who receives him and believes in his name, he gives the right to become his sons and daughters.
The Resurrection took place when, three days after his crucifixion, Jesus rose from death on a Sunday, rolled away the stone that covered the entrance to his tomb, and walked out. The Gospels, as well as the book of Acts, record that he appeared to upward of 500 people over a span of 40 days. In his last moments on earth, Jesus commissioned the early church to take on his mission to make disciples. He then was taken back up to heaven at the Ascension.
Today, we are in between the time when Jesus has ascended and when he will return at the Second Coming. In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John recorded the prophecy he received from God about the day Jesus comes back. At that time, Jesus will bring a new heaven and a new earth. Sin and death will be no more, and all of the sons and daughters of God will live forever with him, feasting and celebrating and basking in his light.
This all might sound supernatural—we call it miraculous. As incredible as a bodily resurrection is, only a man who was God could have the power to defeat Satan and sin. Only a man who’d conquered death could promise to rescue us from it and offer eternal life. Only a man who’d risen into heaven could promise he’d come again with a new kingdom.
If not, he’s just another dead man in a grave.
Have questions about any of this? We expect you might. Come talk with a church leader after any service. We’d love to hear from you.
Find about more about Easter this year at Mars Hill at: