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?”
Wow. You would think that coming off a break like we just did here Monday (and Tuesday) morning wouldn’t hit as hard. Actually I’m having a harder time today than yesterday…
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to tell you about a good book I just finished on Sunday.Let me get into lecture mode *ahem*
C.S. Lewis is best known as a children’s author. His Chronicles of Narnia are beloved by those who read them and have been made into movies both in the past and the present. But Lewis wrote more than just children’s stories. Lewis was born into a religious family, but in his teen years he left the church. Later, because of the influence of several friends such as J.R.R. Tolkien, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and became part of the Anglican church. Mere Christianity started out as a series of radio broadcasts during WWII, but Lewis decided to expand it later, perhaps because of the wide response it elicited. A small book, Mere Christianity using logic to prove Christianity – the logic that persuaded him to be a Christian. Many people seem to view Jesus Christ as a good man, but Lewis reasons that because of Jesus’ claims to perfect divinity, He must have either been a liar or a madman or telling the truth. The book was challenging to me personally as a Christian. I hope you will take the time to look it over. You can read or listen to it free here:
(If I were cool I would know how to make that a convenient clicky link…)