40 years ago my eyes popped open, I jumped to my feet and thought, “Easter Basket!” Today, my eyes popped open, I hugged my pillow and shrieked [in my head], “He Is Alive!”
I’m not a fan of how commercialized our holidays have become, but I can’t deny the excitement, adrenaline and pure thrill that I experienced as a child to receive gifts from imaginary creatures; namely the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, who were very much real to me at the time.
You know the story, eventually we have to face the disappointing reality that what we were taught was false, made-up, make believe – A downright LIE! It wasn’t until my early 30’s that I started to question the same thing about my religion. What if Jesus Christ is no different than the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. After all, I was taught one thing, why hasn’t his story changed – unlike the others? Here’s why… Because He Is ALIVE!
If Jesus didn’t die on the cross, we have no hope, our beliefs are futile and our faith is unnecessary. Yet there are so many ways that we can know that the God of the Universe is not lying to us. I have become a lover of God’s Word and from Genesis, all the way through to the Crucifixion recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there is historical evidence that proves the accuracy and consistency of scripture. Here’s what’s cool: The book of Matthew is estimated to have been written around 70 AD, Mark between 50’s to late 60’s AD, Luke sometime between the 60’s and 80’s and John probably in the 90’s AD, and when you compare and contrast they actually compliment each other to give us a vivid picture and true account of the life of Christ and his horrific, undeserved death. It’s not as if they hung out in some holy huddle and crafted some kind of story. At different times and in their own unique vantage point they recorded it as they saw it or gleaned testimony about it from the other apostles.
I imagine my enthusiasm today as the same as that of Mary Magdalene recorded in John 20:16, when Jesus said to her, “Mary” and she turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Also the astonishment the disciples must have felt when the young man the disciples encountered in the tomb in Mark 16:6 said, “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
Later affirmed in 2 Peter 1:16, “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.“ Therefore, celebrate this amazing, powerful, factual and remarkable life, death and resurrection of Jesus because his selfless act on the cross fills the gap between our unrighteousness and his holiness. Because He lives, we can live with Him eternally, but it takes a conscious decision to believe it on your part, Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Believe, confess, repent!