Why is Easter such a big deal? Simply, because Jesus paid. What did he pay for, and why did he do it? I'll explain.
Everything costs something
Say the whole family goes out for dinner, the large group full of many generations sits around a long, wooden table. Food is ordered, the dinner is super yummy. It's crazy loud.
But toward the end of the meal, everyone looks around and wonders, especially those who can't afford to foot the entire bill, who’s going to pay?
Or here's another one - two different people are looking down on their phones and texting while driving. They know they shouldn’t, but they do. They look up when they feel a bump.
They each get out of their cars to survey the damage. They're both at fault, although they feel the other driver was more.
The real haunting question? Who’s paying for this?
It's a pretty common question we all start to wonder, especially as we get older and begin to learn nothing truly comes free. Everything costs something.
It's Newton's third law of physics:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
There’s people on our streets who are hungry yet to feed them, someone must foot the bill. The same goes for when we want our parks to be clean, our lives to be safe and for the lights to turn on when we walk into a room.
Someone gives their time and money to cover the cost. Even on the "free" stuff, someone pays.
This is why Christians celebrate Easter. Because the same goes for our souls.
Bad words of Christianity
There’s a few “bad words” these days when it comes to Christianity.
They're words that, admittedly, have been misused and abused.
They're not bad because they don't hold value or they're wrong. They're bad because they've been used in a way that's brought a lot of hurt and don't reflect God's heart.
But they’re important words, and if you give me just a few seconds, I'd like to try and unpack them.
The word "sin" is often used lightly, even humorously, if we’re talking about Vegas or chocolate. But, it’s a real thing, a serious thing, that each one of us needs to face.
Sin is our dark side - something that especially us “good people” like to ignore. It’s the white lies, the selfishness, the envy and so much more.
It’s a highly unpopular topic, who likes to talk about this? Plus, it’s often equated with worthlessness - which is not the same thing.
Sin = bad.
Sin doesn't equal you're worthless.
But, the truth is sin leads to darkness, destruction and death.
All of us were formed through a miracle process in our mom's wombs, and created in the image of God.
Yet thanks to a story about a snake, a bite of fruit and our first ancestors, we're now pre-programmed to do the bad things.
None of us humans, not one, is perfect. That's because of sin. It's unpopular and uncomfortable to say that, but it's true.
There's been only one person to live an entire life sin-free. His name? Jesus.
"Repent" is a word equally not as fun - thank you judgmental, anti-gay signs.
When I hear this word, I think of protestors on streets shouting really mean and rude things.
I’d like to reframe it.
Repenting is actually a really beautiful thing. It's the climax of every story.
When things are going wrong, the rising action is riddled with problems, repentance is when everything turns around.
To repent is to admit you're not perfect - you have sin - which means your soul needs to be saved. To repent is to walk away from something, and to change.
It's putting back the candy bar and choosing not to steal it.
It's keeping quiet when we used to gossip.
It's letting our hearts accept we're not 100% pure gold - we're a hot mess sometimes and we do wrong things.
What Jesus paid with and why he did it
To accept the message of Jesus means to repent of our sins and believe he died to cover them. He paid with his own, sinless life.
It breaks the law of physics, in a way, because now for every action we take, we're completely forgiven.
In the U.S., a lot of us grew up as Christians, and if you didn't, it's likely you knew someone who did. In this climate, the message of Easter can feel so common, so boring and, if we’re being honest, overdone.
But it’s a critical message that bears repeating and here's why:
If this story is true, which you can believe or not for yourself, it really does change everything.
Easter is an invitation to wrestle with big questions of life:
- Was Jesus God?
- Did he really rise again?
- Is the Bible lying or is it true?
But it doesn't stop there, because there are additional important questions to ask ourselves:
- Can we believe that God is good?
- Can we accept that He loves us?
These are big questions, but foundational questions, that we all must face in our lives.
Whether we've been given six months to live, or we've got 60 more years ahead of us, what we think about God will define everything.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” -A.W. Tozer
Who's paying? Jesus.
I believe that yes, Jesus was God and He really did die and rise again. Why? Because I'm a sinner and God is good.
Because I believe, Jesus now lives in my heart.
My wrong actions are forgiven by Him (although He leads me to apologize and make amends).
Even despite the bad things that have happened to me, I believe God has always been, and will continue, to work for my good.
God's kindness has led to my repentance - not some nasty, cheap sign and mean shouting.
Is the Bible hard to believe sometimes? Totally.
A real person who was both fully God and fully man lived thousands of years ago - and the story is true and not pretend?
It's not always easy to take in.
But the core message of the Bible isn't "don't doubt," it is "God so loved the world that he gave his son."
The invitation for us at Easter is to accept that Jesus died for us, he 100% paid our bill. Our sin cost Him everything, and now we can live free.