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Easter pt 1 – Why Care?

April 6, 2012

What is the meaning of Easter? Have you ever asked this question? The textbook Sunday school answer is that Easter is a celebration for when Jesus the Christ died for our sins. I remember hearing this as a young student but struggled to understand what it meant to say that he died for our sins. What is sin? And why would someone have to die for us to be saved from sin? In a more general sense, why should you or I care? Does this even concern us? These are honest questions and some that I have posed in the past .

Concerning “Easter” let us read what the apostle Paul wrote to a Jewish/Gentile Church in Rome:

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”{1}

Sure Paul does not use the term “Easter” in his letter. But he is describing the death and resurrection of Jesus – called Easter. What he reveals in this letter is that by what Jesus did on the cross, as hard as it may be to comprehend, he did it to reconcile us with God. We are saved through him.

  • Sin and man – Every man and woman possess a sin nature that separates us from God. What is sin and how has it affected the history of mankind?

  • Justification – God is Holy, we are sinful. How then can we stand before a Holy God and be justified in sin?

  • Reconciliation – God is our Creator. We are his creation. Because our sin separates us from God – How then are we going to be able to be reconciled to him and receive eternal life with him?

  • Life After life – There are two places written in scripture that man travels after passing from this life: Eternal life with God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ or Eternal separation from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the words of Jesus himself – not a “church” fabrication as some cults and religions would have you believe.

Sin and Man

If Jesus’s death on the cross was supposed to save us, what was he saving us from? We can learn this answer from a dialogue Jesus has with some Jews of that time:

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my words, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have learned from your father.”{2}

Slaves to Sin

Jesus was trying to present a clear message through to those that heard him. However initially he confused them when he said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set us free.” I think rightly the Jews asked him how they could be called slaves if they are slaves to no one? Jesus’s answer: “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Before we can seek to understand how the son could set us free, it would be helpful to get to know our enemy – Our sinful nature.

Know Thou Enemy – What is Sin? Sin is defined most accurately as ‘missing the mark’. The ‘mark’ being a type of holy perfection; the mark standard set by Holy God. A perfection not reachable by man alone. It is our sin that keeps us separate from the glory of God and from attaining true peace in this world. The Bible teaches that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…For the wages of Sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”{3}{4}

Have you ever known a person that does everything right? A person who never commits wrong? What does modern culture tell us about sin?

Examples of Sin

It took me all of five minutes of searching the news to see the manifestation of sin in this world. Keep in mind, some may not believe in any religious figure or religion. Thats fine. These atrocities are independent of religion and universally acknowledged as heinous, or evil, crimes against humanity. (Note: These news stories were top stories at the time of this writing)

Murdered and Dismembered:Three Ohioans and two Michigan residents have been arrested in connection with an Ohio woman who police say was stabbed, suffocated and dismembered in a bathtub before some of her remains were taken to northern Kentucky.{5}

Gang Raped, Strangled, and Burned: Oksana Makar, the 18-year-old Ukrainian woman who was gang raped, nearly strangled, and set on fire, died today in the hospital, the Kyiv Post reports.{6}

Two Murders – One a Two Year Old Child:Suzanne Jones, 34, and her two-year-old son William were found dead at their home in Porthmadog, Gwynned, on Friday night. Police have said Mrs Jone’s husband and William’s father, David Wyn Jones, 42, has been charged with their murders.{7}

Dictators and Genocide:

  • Pol Pot –Contributed to the deaths of approximately 2 million people!
  • Adolf Hitler –Contributed to the deaths of approximately 6 million people!
  • Joseph Stalin –Contributed to the deaths of approximately 50 million people!

Other Quick facts:

  • Did you know that Germany was one of the best educated countries in the world at the time of the Holocaust?

  • Did you know that WWII was the bloodiest war in history? 60 million people were killed as a result of it which was over 2.5% of the world population at that time.

  • Every year approximately 15 million children die of hunger while for the price of one missile, it is estimated that a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years. I wonder how many children could have eaten at the cost of WWII?

It is easy to see that sin is very real and very present today. It wreaks pain and sadness beyond measure into the lives of countless persons. We hurt others or fail to help others in need. Sin is at the core of every man and is something that must be dealt with. Why? Because sin’s destruction has existed since the beginning (one can say since recorded history) and continues to permeate our lives in the present. I know that sin is hard to take in, discuss, and acknowledge. But it shouldn’t be and I will tell you why. Because around 2000 years ago, the one in the wilderness who prepared Israel for the birth of Jesus said, “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” {8}

{1} Romans 5:9-11

 {2} John 6:63

 {3} Romans 3:23

{4} Romans 6:23




{8}John 1:9

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