Billions of people will soon be celebrating Easter. What is the big deal about it? I believe the reason Easter is so important is twofold:
- It is important because it proved who Jesus is.
- It is important because it validated what Jesus taught.
In the previous post, we looked at the first item listed above. Please read Part One, if you have not already done so. Today we will examine the second part of this answer:
It Authenticated The Teachings Of Jesus
(John 8:31-32) “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; (32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Most people I know are not free. They are captive to worry, guilt, depression, bitterness, anger, fatigue and low self-esteem.
First, God made me with a purpose in mind.
What I want you to understand is that you are not here by accident. I don’t care what the circumstances are in reference to your birth. It was not an accident. There is no such thing as an illegitimate child when it comes to God. Mom and Dad may have been caught by surprise, but not God. God has a purpose for your being born. He had a plan for you before you were born. Notice this verse found in (Ephesians 2:10), “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
God made you because He loves you. And He planned your life long before you were born. What is the purpose of life? Do I just get up in the morning, go to work, have a coffee break, come home, and go to bed? Is that all there is? Of course not. The fact is, the Bible tells us that God made us with a purpose in mind.
The truth is, until you find out the purpose for which God made you, and you pursue that purpose – you are not living. You are just existing. We in America have a lot to live on, but very little to live for. And that is tragic. On the other hand, when you do discover what God wants you to achieve in your life, your life takes on new meaning. (That is one of the reasons our church is here – to help you discover God’s purpose for your life.) Your life will take on new meaning, significance, and fulfillment far beyond what you thought was possible.
That is the good news of Easter.
Second, I can know God personally.
Have you ever prayed and felt like your prayers were going nowhere? Have you ever wondered if there was really a God who is interested in your prayers? Is God really interested in my life? The answer is “Yes.” To point this out, the Bible says that God even knows the number of hairs on our heads.
More important than the fact that God knows everything about you – is the fact that God wants you to get to know Him.
That is a mind blower. I am not talking about knowing about God. There is a word for knowing about God. That word is “religion.” Religion is knowing about God. But I am not talking about religion. I don’t care what your religion is. You may be Protestant, Catholic ,or Jewish. That is not what is important.
What is important is whether or not you have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did not come to earth to give us another religion. He came to give to us a personal relationship with His Father. Religion is a lot like a vaccination. With religion, a lot of people get just enough knowledge about God to vaccinate them from getting the real thing. The real thing is a personal relationship with God. God wants you to know Him.
Look at this verse found in (John 14:21, 23), “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him… (23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Wouldn’t you like to get to know God in that way? Wouldn’t you like to know God in a close and intimate way? Wouldn’t you like to be able to talk to Him in the same way that you and I talk? You can! It isn’t a freaky thing. That is exactly how God would like for you to get to know Him. Just don’t let religion get in the way.
Third, I can be forgiven and get a fresh start!
We all have those “if onlys” in our lives. We all have regrets. Guilt causes major damage to our relationship to God. Guilt builds a barrier between us and God. Jesus said, (John 3:17) “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Guilt also builds barriers between you and other people. If you feel guilty about something in your relationship to others, you don’t want to see them.
Let me tell you what real living is. Real living is getting up in the morning, looking at yourself in the mirror, and saying, ‘Man, I am forgiven. I have blown it many times. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I am forgiven.’ None of us are perfect. Jesus said, We can be forgiven and start over.
(Col. 2:13-14), “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
If you have a pen or pencil, circle the word “forgiven.”
It is like a canceled check.
Let me ask you, how long do you remember a debt that has been paid? You don’t. Once a debt has been paid, you forget it. Even if there were no heaven, it would be worth becoming a Christian just to have your sins forgiven. If you don’t get anything else in this devotion, I want you to get this. Regardless of who you are, regardless of whatever you have done, you matter to God. You really do. Nobody will love you more than Jesus Christ. He said, I love you this much. He has already paid your debt for everything you have done wrong. You can stop nailing yourself to a cross. He has already done that for you. That is good news.
Fourth, I can go to heaven when I die!
The message of Easter is that death has been beaten; but, an even better message is that you and I can beat it too, by trusting Jesus Christ. Death is not the end. It is a fact that death is a universal experience. We all are going to die. We all know that. The truth is that you are not ready to live until you are ready to die. If you really want to know what will happen to you when you die, check it out in the Book. Let me tell you what the Bible says is going to happen to you when you die. Heaven is a perfect place. If you are going to live there, you must be perfect. I know exactly what you are thinking, ‘I don’t stand a chance.’
You are exactly right. That is why God gave us the Plan of Salvation. We cannot make it to Heaven on our own. The only way to get to Heaven is to trust the only Person who lived a perfect life, to get you in on His merits. That Person is Jesus Christ. You get into heaven by trusting Christ and establishing a relationship with Him.
Some of you are thinking, ‘Life seems meaningless to me. My schedule is full, but not fulfilling. What is the purpose of it all?’
These four truths that I have shared with you can be summed up in one word. That word is “Salvation.” Salvation means that God has a plan for your life; and that plan can be realized by a personal relationship in Jesus Christ. That is Good News.
You may be thinking, ‘How do I get this salvation?’ I can’t give it to you. It comes through Jesus Christ. Read with me (John 17:2-3) “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
You can recieve Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior today. You can have a new life, real life. You receive Jesus as your Savior by making this confession:
(Rom. 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Now, what is your answer to the question, “Why is Easter Important to Me?”