Easter is Sunday. I’ve already picked out my daughter’s multi-colored pastel dress with matching hair bows. While Easter is most certainly not about the Easter Bunny or Easter baskets, I will likely hunt down a cute Easter basket full of goodies for my sweetheart before the week is out. She simply must pose for a picture next to a basket if only for future sentimental Quin’s sake.
We all know the real reason for Easter. It's to reflect on Jesus’s last days. We remember the gruesome beating and the hanging of our Lord on the cross. But most importantly, we remember how He rose on the 3rd day with all power in His hands. We know He did this for the remission of our sins, so that we may have access to eternal life (John 3:16).
But I’d like to take a moment and reflect on what the remission of sins actually does for us.
In a nutshell, it reconciles us to God. It’s all about reconciliation.
Our sins kept us from God. Sin operated as a barrier between us and our God. An impenetrable barrier. A barrier that one cannot jump over or crawl under or walk around. Reminds me of Michael Jackson's song, Wanna Be Starting Something.
Too high to get over
Too low to get under
Stuck in the middle
And the pain is thunder
Sin had us stuck. And the pain associated with being separated from God due to our sin is much more than thunder. Sin was just too much! We couldn’t simply ask God to forgive us prior to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. There were strict rules in place under the Mosaic Law on how to atone for our sins. There were certain rituals and sacrifices to be followed.
But the problem with the Mosaic Law was that it was too much for us to carry. Just go over and read a little bit of Leviticus starting with chapter 1 and you’ll see how overwhelming atoning for our sins really was.
Since we couldn’t keep up with the laws and statues, our sins were left unforgiven.
We were counted guilty and sentenced to being disconnected from God. We were behind theoretical bars. Stuck behind the impenetrable barrier… until Christ came and died for us. Thus, we are reconciled to God.
But what does it mean to be reconciled? Google says it means to restore friendly relations. But the reconciliation to God isn’t an ordinary reconciliation. We couldn’t just go up to God like an old friend and say, “Hey God, I’m sorry… forgive me?” God wouldn’t just say “Sure bud!” and take us out for drinks.
No, forgiveness from God came with a price. Forgiveness from God costed. And the price was following the Mosaic Law.
But it was, as previously stated, a cost that was too high to pay. We simply couldn’t afford God’s forgiveness. But Christ’s resurrection covered our sins. Christ paid the cost that was much too high for us to pay. He paid off our debt in full and removed the impenetrable barrier so that we could be reconciled to God.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
(2 Corinthians 5:17-19, KJV)
Christ is the only way to be reconciled to God. Those who choose not to accept Christ should attempt to follow the Mosaic Law for the atonement of their sins. But honestly, that wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense.
That’s like someone offering to pay your $100,000,000,000 plus interest debt but you turn them down and say “I’ll pay it myself” knowing full well you’ll never be able to pay the interest, let alone the debt, in this lifetime.
This is why we celebrate Easter. Because our debt of sin is paid off, if we are in Christ. We thank Christ because He reunited us. For His actions reconciled us. Yet notice the scripture says, therefore if any man be in Christ. Regardless of Christ’s resurrection, if we aren’t in Him, then our debt still lays on our head. How does one become in Christ? Galatians states the following:
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
(Galatians 3:26-27, KJV)
We are in Christ when we have faith in Him and when we are baptized into Him. There are those who believe baptism isn’t essential. I utterly, completely, and entirely beg the differ and here’s why.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
(John 3:5, KJV)
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
(Mark 16:16, KJV)
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
(Matthew 28: 18-19, KJV)
To believe baptism isn’t essential is to believe Christ told us to do something that is non-essential. As Christians, we are to do everything Christ told us to do… whether we think it’s essential are not is to no consequence. What matters is what He said, not what we think.
I’m winding this one down guys. But it’s so very important to remember why we celebrate Easter. It’s not just because Christ died for the remission of our sins. It’s because of the grand reconciliation.
Although Christ died, there are still many of us who are not reconciled to Him. This is why He has delayed His 2nd coming (see 2 Peter 3:3-9). His death only gives us access to God after we believe in Him and put Him on by way of baptism.
So this Sunday, let’s celebrate Easter for the remission of our sins and let’s celebrate the reconciliation. Let us also pray and work in the Kingdom according to our gifts so that others may be reconciled to God through faith and baptism.
I know this was a relatively long one guys, but this is important stuff! I had to take my time wit' it. I honestly had a few more points to make, but I'll end it here for the sake of time and your attention span :-)
So, that’s a wrap you guys!
This Easter, don't eat too many boiled eggs (no matter how beautifully decorated they may be). And don't eat too much candy... I will attempt to take heed to my own advice being that I am 100% sure I will dig my hand I into my daughter's basket :-)
Instead, let's celebrate Christ, remember His sacrifice, and thank Him for the grand reconciliation.