One beautiful evening during Spring Break from college (or high school), some happy-go-lucky teenagers saw this message in neon…
This year, my friends, it shall be my very last Easter with all of you guys as a WordPress blogger; Come June 14th, I shall shut down this here blog for the very final time and be heading on to much better things in terms of book writing and food service cleaning. However, I really do not want to celebrate this final Easter with you guys without giving you a very special greeting, because I know that next year and in the years to come, there won’t be any more Easters that I would be celebrating with all of you…So it is with that, although it is short, this Easter greeting is as simple and beautiful as the holiday itself. For the very last time, may I wish each of you all of the blessings that this glorious holiday brings…
Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia! Today is Easter Sunday, the day that commemorates that most blessed moment of victory in which Jesus defeated death on the cross after he had been risen from the dead by our Heavenly Father Himself! It is a joy to celebrate this happiest, happy day!
What does Easter mean to you? Well, I have just described it to you, and we do know what that means for us as Christians: Christ has become victorious over death and has been risen from the grave after suffering on the cross two days ago; And we all know why Jesus did this: Through His shed blood as the ultimate price, we can have that most joyous gift of all-The joyous free gift of salvation and the promise of life eternal.
However, what does Easter mean to other people? Well, unfortunately, it means things that are very much other than Jesus: To them who have yet to have their ears opened, Easter means nothing more than which candy that the Easter Bunny left in their baskets, as well as eating too much of that candy, as well as Easter egg hunts and visits from the Easter Bunny at many a shopping mall from everywhere. Clearly, there is not anything that has to do with the Christian part of Easter.
You see, Christ Jesus has given us the ultimate Easter gift: He was sent by God to do the Father’s will, this is so in order to show His love for every one of us all; He allowed Himself to be beaten, whipped, forced to carry, and then be nailed to, and then to suffer, bleed, and then die on the cross at a place called Calvary. Yes, Jesus did this in our place.
On the third day, our Lord God had raised Jesus Christ from the dead, resurrected, defeating death as He had then gone out of that cold, dark tomb, so that each of us could have the most blessed gift of salvation as well as the promise of life eternal. Yes, anyone can have that most blessed miracle of salvation that has been brought to us by the precious sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Christ, if they give up their old, sinful lives and repent and believe that Jesus died for their sins.
In Colossians 2:9-15(NLT), the apostle Paul addresses the following fact that we have been given new life in Christ Jesus: “…Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, Who is the head over every ruler and authority. When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised”, but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision-the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to new life because You trusted the mighty power of God, Who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all your sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.”
What Paul had just addressed, my dearest friends, is as true as the real spirit of Easter itself: Through the blood of Jesus Christ that has been shed for you on the cross, our Heavenly Father has made us alive, for He has forgiven ALL of your sins, including mine! We, including you, have been dead due to our sins, but now, thanks to His death on the cross as well as His glorious resurrection, Jesus took all of our sins away from us by nailing them on the cross. Once we were lost, but now, we are found through Christ, and you too can be found through Christ, if you accept this invitation to repent of your sins and to ask Jesus to come into your heart!
On this Easter Sunday, it is very well time to get rid of your old, sinful selves and to have a brand-new life through Christ Jesus if you only ask today…
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17, NLT)
And so, my friends, on this Easter Sunday, are you ready to accept this most ultimate gift of all, the gift of salvation that has been won for us on the cross by Jesus Christ? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am a sinner. I believe that You have died on the cross for my sins and have been risen from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could have eternal life. I ask now that You please come into my heart, and to let me follow You always as my personal Savior. Thank You so much for taking my place on the cross for me and making the most ultimate sacrifice for me. In Your most holy and blessed name, I pray. Amen.”
Now, if you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome YOU into the Family of God! Now, the next thing that you need to do now that you have given your heart to Jesus Christ would be to read the Holy Bible, God’s most blessed word, each and every day of your life, and then you must go to a good, Christian church, each and every Sunday of your life, so that you can praise, worship, and thank our Heavenly Father for this most blessed Easter gift of sending His only Son to die for you. I hope as well as pray that you make this most important choice of your life by giving your heart to Jesus Christ today, so that you could follow Him for always. I would like to thank you so very much for taking this time to read this very special Easter message today. Until the very next time, Lord willing, may I wish you and yours a very happy and blessed Easter, and may the Lord God richly bless you. Happy Easter.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
From Psalm 24(NLT):
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him. For He laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.
Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior. Such people may seek You and worship in Your presence, O God of Jacob.
Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, invincible in battle. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The LORD of Heaven’s Armies-He is the King of glory.
We hope that you have enjoyed this weeklong special featuring Bible verses for Holy Week; Here now is the very last verse…
As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? ” Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent. ” And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching. Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.
Luke 23:26-56 NLT