Easter. A time of family, friends, and chocolate, right? But did you ever wonder if there was anything more to Easter? How did the holiday start? Why do we still celebrate it?
Easter began as a Christian holiday – literally, a holy day. For those of us who believe, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But, logically, in order for Jesus to come back to life He must have first died. Jesus did die. He was beaten and mocked and tortured before His death, and yet as He was dying He prayed for God to forgive His murderers. You see, Jesus was innocent. He was not a criminal. In fact, He had not even committed the nominal, ordinary, every-day sins that you and I excuse so often. Jesus was completely sinless. He was God before you or I ever existed, and He loved us so much that He wanted us to be with Him forever in heaven. But there was something in the way of that: our sin. God is so holy that He cannot even look on sin. He has to punish it – if He didn’t, then He would no longer be Himself, no longer be God. But He is so awesome that He figured out a way that He could have His cake and eat it too. God sent His Son, Jesus (also God) to die for you and me so that we could be in heaven with Him forever after we die. Isn’t God awesome!? All we have to do is accept His gift. No “good works” are necessary. There is absolutely no way you can earn your way to heaven. God has done everything that needed to be done. And now he holds out His hand to you and me asking us, “Will you accept My gift?”