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Monday, April 16, 2012


Easter—what’s the big deal? It’s just another Sunday. It’s just some sort of religious event. It’s what those Christians celebrate. So what’s the big deal? I don’t go to church, I believe in God, but for me and for my generation, I just don’t see church going or the Easter celebration as a big thing. I’ve got lots going on in my life and there are lots of things that I find more interesting or worthwhile than going to church, even on Easter. It’s just not a big deal to me as it was to my parents or to other folks. If going to church works for them, fine, but it’s not what I’m looking for. In fact, it seems kind of old fashioned to me. After all, this is modern society and thanks to science we have more knowledge of things today than ever before. We are the most informed, most knowledgeable generation in the history of the world. The Bible may be a nice book and all that, but my facts come from science and my reality is my friends, my family, and my job. C'est la vie, as the French say.

Really? Is that all there is to life, to your life? It’s just the here and now that count? Your purpose is just to live life day by day without any thought to why you might be here or what will happen to you after your short life is over. Yes, I said short life. When you get to be 68 years old, as I am, you realize just how short life really is. You also begin to understand how all those things you thought to be important, like living for the here and now and gaining possessions, are so unimportant. Of course you cherish your family and your friends, but you are still an individual, a person who will live his or her 70 or 80 or 90 or even 100 years and then you will die. In fact, you will, in the earthly sense, be dead forever. Those 70 or 80 or 90 or 100 years aren’t much compared with eternity.

Eternity, that’s what Easter is about. It’s about where you will spend eternity. For all the scientific achievements that man has accomplished, he cannot create life. In fact, he can’t even come within a country mile of creating life. And any fool knows there is always a starting point. There is a beginning. God and the book he inspired, the Bible, is all about that beginning. It provides answers for the reason for life, your life. Rather than live a shallow existence for the here and now, God provides us with a real purpose for our life. Man brags about his intelligence and his accomplishments. God offers wisdom, hope and love. Intelligence is not wisdom and cold science is a far cry from hope and love.

The Bible is a fascinating book. It reveals the story of the creation of life by God. It’s a story of the fall of man, who sought to be like God, and a love so great that God created a plan to reconcile himself to fallen, sinful man. It was a costly, painful plan that God executed. He sent his own Son, Jesus, to live a humble life on this earth and to do it without sin. The God who created life and created the universe loved us and loves us so much that he was willing to lower himself to be one of us so that he could save us from our own folly. Science advances, but human nature does not. One would have to be blind to look around the world, or even into our own hearts and believe that we are perfect, without sin. What silliness. The great King David of the Old Testament wrote in Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” In fact, all the great leaders of the Old Testament—Abraham, Moses, David, were guilty of great, public sins. These were the men that God personally chose to lead his people and yet they were great sinners—guilty of lying, of killing, of adultery and much more. And then when Jesus came he hung out with prostitutes, tax cheats, and those who comprised the underbelly of society. What is the message here?

God’s message, the message that we need to understand is that everyone, from kings and presidents to those in jail suffer from the same affliction—sin. As “wise” King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Certainly, there is no one so righteous on earth that he always does what is good and never sins.” This is the critical understanding of the Bible. It runs throughout the Old and New Testaments. As Paul said in Romans 3:23, “Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God's glory.” Only a fool would believe that he is somehow better than every other human being ever born, that he is without sin. It is only by God’s grace that we can and are rescued from our sins.

And this brings us to the importance of Easter and its meaning for you and for your life. Beginning with Adam all men (and women) rebelled from God. They rejected him and that’s where all our troubles began. They sinned and they passed their sinful ways along to you and me. We took the wrong path and there would be no hope for you and me without God’s plan of reconciliation. By Jesus living that perfect life that you and I are incapable of, and by his painful death of the cross where the innocent died for the guilty, he gives us hope of recapturing the perfection of the Garden of Eden. He took my sins and your sins on Himself so that we don’t have to live without hope, but can rather look forward to death as the gateway to a perfect life that is far, far beyond any pleasure or joy that we have on this earth. It won’t last 70 or 80 or 90 or 100 years, it will last forever. Its value is priceless. And we know we have the guarantee of living forever with the Lord because Jesus rose in triumph over death on Easter Sunday. That’s the important meaning of Easter.

It’s not just another Sunday or just another day of the week. It is a commemoration of the greatest event that ever took place in the history of the world. It illuminates the meaning of life. It clarifies everything.

Here we are focusing on our few years on this earth, but if we don’t pay any attention to the eternity we will spend on the other side of our passage through death, we will have missed the entire story. Don’t miss the full story. Fill your life with hope and joy and purpose by embracing the wonderful message of Jesus this Easter. That’s my prayer for you.

My wife, Kathi, and I wish you and yours a wonderful, joyous Easter celebration.

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