Every spring we return to the same story, one of incomparable magnitude. A story that was very real, altogether raw, and is most deserving of the term: “life-changing.”
It’s the story of Jesus, of His road to Calvary.
Yet Easter, the holiday that marks this event, often passes with just a special service and dinner and nothing more.
We adore Christmas – for it is SO sweet to decorate and celebrate the Messiah entering the world as a newborn babe! But Easter is cluttered by chocolate and bunnies, and has to do with death and blood… not things we love to linger on. But it is Christ’s blood, Christ’s death, that allows for the greatest victory we could ever imagine.
This Resurrection Sunday we cannot afford to just dress up and eat, but we must savor it. It is perhaps the most important holiday for humanity.
It is an opportunity to water dry faith.
Maybe your faith feels a bit listless right now. Or maybe you are eager to rediscover the cross, because it seems so far away.
Whether during Spring or another time, whenever I’m in need of a spiritual wake up call I turn to John 18-20, the “Easter” story. I need to remember Jesus and what He did – the reason I call myself a Christian.
My mind that is so swiftly lost in the cares of the world has to pause and relive the final moments of Christ’s life.
Because the Gospel story shakes us to the core, and reminds us why we’re living.
Just reading the Scriptures about the crucifixion I cannot escape the brutal irony.
3 times Pontius Pilate said “I find no guilt in him.” 3 times. (John 18:38 John 19:4, John 19:6)
And yet the people screamed, “Crucify, crucify!”
As soldiers nailed Jesus to death, many witnesses noticed what criminal sentence He had received, what had been inscribed by Pilate on the cross.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” John 19:21-22
At this point in John’s account my heart sits anguished, in awe over Pilate’s unknowing confirmation of the truth.
My pride crumbles. My whining wanes. My heart softens. All because I’m seeing once again my sin fading with each of Jesus’s dying breaths. I’m seeing His love, and His life about to be crushed to give me mine.
And so my heart cries: Yes! That is who He is—their King, my King, the King.
Jesus was perfectly innocent. He was wrongfully condemned. The Son of God received beating upon beating, and then the unimaginable immensity of the Father’s wrath against sin, to save the truly guilty.
And one of those guilty ones is me…and you.
We cannot forget this. It is the essence of our faith—that our fragile existence became one of eternal glory by one man’s perfect sacrifice for sin.
If we’re ever wondering—why obey? Why pray? Why read the Bible? Why go to church? Why follow this book of rules instead of forging my own path, seeking my own pleasures?
Remember this reality: Jesus faced humiliation and renounced His every right and died to give you a future far superior than any desire you’re hungry for right now. He offers you a right relationship with your Creator, the Mighty One who you will someday face. He offers eternal life in a world filled with death. His Word is more than a book of rules – it’s the truth of salvation.
Jesus was a living, breathing person, the precious Son of the one true God, who bore your every transgression. Before the foundation of the world the Trinity ordained to send Jesus to earth, so that you might believe and glorify His Name.
Before the cross He said:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” John 18: 36-37
Are you listening?
This King lived to die. But He also died to live again.
Going into John 20, the empty tomb amazes Mary Magdalene and me. Reading Matthew 28:6 I hear with her, “He has risen, just as He said.”
His death should humble our heart to repentance, and His resurrection should rejuvenate our hope.
All of us fumble in the darkness for some meaning and for progress, trying to grasp happiness however we can.
Yet Christ rose from the dead, validating His every claim. He truly is the Light of the World. Jesus promises a far better place, and He is the Way to it. He is the Resurrection and the Life.
All the truth we celebrate on Easter should be our pulse all year long. We have to remember who Christ is, the cost He endured for our redemption, and embrace Him each day.
Start now with my free 7-day email series studying the “I AM” statements of Jesus.
It includes a daily message explaining each “I AM” statement, application questions for your heart, and prayer prompts to seek Him with. The series also gives you a deeper understanding of the first week of a Easter Reading Plan included upon subscribing.