Easter is a celebration, not of chocolate eggs and fluffy bunnies, but of the greatest event in history. Christians everywhere know what this is, and we use big words and confusing terms to explain it. Most people outside our circles don’t have a clue what we’re saying. Sometimes we don’t either.
On Good Friday, Jesus dies. On Easter, he is alive. But why? What does it mean?
Stripping away all the Christian jargon and inaccessible theology, here is how I see it:
We’ve all do things we shouldn’t; we’ve all make mistakes.
We deserve to be punished.
Our punishment isn’t a slap on the wrist or a timeout. Regardless of what we have done or will do, there’s only one thing on the books: death. It’s mandatory sentencing.
At our trial, Jesus stands up for us. “Oh, no, you don’t!” Murmurs go through the courtroom. “I won’t let you hurt them. Take me instead.” It is a shocking move. “Kill me; just let them go.” Wow, that’s real love.
And that’s just what happens. Jesus is executed instead of us. We get off scot-free.
This is his gift to us, the ultimate act of love, dying in place of another. As with any gift, all we need to do is reach out and take it.
But the story isn’t over. Death is not the end for Jesus. Jesus’ body doesn’t rot away in his tomb. To show the world how great he is, he comes back to life in an awesome display of power.
Now we can be together; now we can hang out.
How cool is that? Thank you Jesus!
That’s why I follow Jesus.
That’s what Easter means to me.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.