The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 29, 2013

Why do we celebrate Easter?

Daily Item

---- — Easter is a wonderful celebration and remembrance of God's agape love for us. If it were not for the supreme sacrifice made by Jesus Christ at the Cross of Calvary, we would not have the opportunity to receive the gift of Salvation regarding our eternal welfare.

Although some people do not acknowledge this, we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). God tells us in the Bible, "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Jesus is the only way to bridge the gap between God and man. Before sin entered the world through the transgression of Adam and Eve, our world was perfectly created by God. Because He is just and fair, God does not force anyone to love Him (if so, we would be robots serving Him out of fear). He lovingly created us with free will so we can personally choose between good or evil.

When our first parents decided to believe the lie from Satan, their decision affected the entire human race. Because of their error, it is an absolute certainty that we all will die. As a result of the mistake of the first parents, we are all born with a propensity to sin. To remedy this situation, Jesus stepped down from His heavenly throne and became a man, to suffer and die on the Cross. He became our substitute and paid the price for the penalty we deserve. It is through the righteousness of Christ alone that we have the hope of everlasting life. Every person needs Jesus, our Savior and mediator, in order to be reconciled to God.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, He was buried and on the third day, He rose from the grave. If Christ had not risen, then we would have no hope of resurrection for ourselves. The Bible teaches in 1Corinthians 15:20-23: "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His Coming."

Many people acknowledge this truth. However, some individuals have not realized that the promise of everlasting life with God only applies to those who have a commitment and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is puzzling to me how a person can truly celebrate the meaning of Easter if they have no relationship with Jesus. They may pray, go to church, etc., but their hearts and lifestyle are far from God.

As we remember Christ, the meaning of the Cross of Calvary and the celebration of His resurrection, let us examine our innermost thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to arrive at a conclusion regarding our status with God. Are we truly following Christ? The Bible teaches that each person has a choice to make, whether to serve God or Satan. If we are not for God, then we are against Him. There is no middle ground. God tells us in His Holy scripture that He does not want anyone to perish, but there is an action we must take by exercising our spiritual responsibility to choose the path of who we will serve. At the end of the world, there will only be two types of people: the lost and the saved. Will you choose life or death?

Prayerfully consider this: Invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Come to Him just as you are. Acknowledge that you are a sinner and confess your sins to Jesus and repent (turn from sin). Receive God's forgiveness and His gift of salvation through Christ. Develop a sincere desire to follow Jesus by studying the Bible to learn biblical truths and how to live a godly life. Surround yourself with people who are of the same mind who can mentor you in the things of God. If you are willing to be His disciple, your life will change in so many areas. The best is yet to come!

Catherine Merrifield,