On a Final Note

The center of the Christian faith is the story of Jesus’s death, burial, and triumphant resurrection from the dead. Each year, millions of Christians around the world commemorate this greatest day in history as Easter Sunday. Since historians are not certain of the precise date of Jesus’s resurrection, for centuries Christians have observed Easter on the first Sunday following the “Paschal Full Moon,” or the first full moon following the Spring equinox.

The critical importance of Jesus’ resurrection cannot be overstated. From the beginning of time, God had a plan to save His people from their sins. Out of His incalculable love, He made a way for rebellious sinners to escape the punishment we deserve by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to live the life we could never live. Jesus never sinned! He always obeyed God perfectly.

The people of Israel, however, did not believe Jesus was God’s Son. They had him arrested and asked the governor, Pilate, to kill him. Though Pilate knew Jesus had done nothing wrong, He did what the people  wanted and ordered Jesus be crucified. The soldiers beat Him and, in order to make fun of Him, put a royal robe on His back and a crown of thorns on His head, and mockingly yelled, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

They then took Jesus and nailed Him to a cross and placed a sign above His head to mock Him again, which read, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” Beside Him hung two other criminals. At around noon, as Jesus hung there, darkness covered the land. At around three in the afternoon on a Friday, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” and then died. They took His body and buried it in a tomb sealed with a large stone.

But this is not the end of the story. On Sunday morning, God miraculously raised Jesus from the dead! Jesus’ friends came to visit His tomb, only to find it empty, along with an angel there who said, “Do not be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, but He is not here. He has been resurrected!” Easter Sunday celebrates the greatest day in history and teaches us at least three things:

Easter Sunday teaches us who we are. Jesus had to die because we were rebel sinners who deserved God’s judgment. Since God is just, He did not just overlook our sins; He punished them by sending Jesus to die in our place. This Easter, see your need for Christ.

Easter Sunday teaches us who God is. It would have been fair for God to have judged us, for each of us are rebel sinners. But out of His love, He provided a way of salvation! This Easter, see just how amazing our God of love and grace is! He is faithful when we are not!

This Easter, join millions of Christians around the globe in celebrating the greatest day in history.


Kyler Smith is the Family Discipleship Pastor at Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC