What’s the big deal about Easter?
Jesus was crucified by the plan of God, carried out by men. By arranging his crucifixion, despite His innocence, Jesus’ contemporaries sought a temporary political victory for their nation over the occupying forces of Rome. But it became something far different – Jesus’ death achieved a spiritual victory for all of mankind.
As the perfect man he traded his life to satisfy God’s justice against all of mankind’s sin. For God must uphold justice, as we would expect from any king. Except God’s love and mercy for mankind meant that the only way he could satisfy both his justice and love was to pour out his justice (wrath) on a willing, perfect substitute. Jesus was that willing substitute and He therefore paid the price of our sin on our behalf.
But then Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by over 500 people before ascending to heaven. His resurrection was the final victory over death, meaning that all who trust in Jesus step into this victory and will not die eternally. It also means that all who trust in Him can enjoy God’s life right now and know God personally.
The resurrection was also Jesus’ victory over the Devil who was not able and can now never stop God’s plan of redemption to mankind. God’s true character of being both perfectly loving and perfectly just show how empty the Devil’s philosophies and ideas about God, which are pervasive in this world, actually are.
Christians trust Jesus rather than themselves, their good works or even their religious works to save them from God’s justice. That’s what it means to ‘have faith in Jesus’. His rising from the dead proved that God declares mankind free. All that remains is for people to accept this freedom from God.