This Easter unlike most Easter’s before there will not be thousands of churches with millions of people gathering to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have all found ourselves stuck in homes, many not able to work or visit friends or family. But on this Easter like the Easter’s before we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for each of us. For years we have become accustom to and comfortable with our traditions. But in a world that has been turned upside down by a sickness what we need to remember is, is it the traditions or is it the Risen Savior that we celebrate on this wonderful day that Jesus stepped out of the grave 2000 years ago?
Today, my desire is to help us refocus on hearts and minds on what really matters most; not our jobs, not our families, not our friends, but Jesus Christ. I am going to look at the question “why Jesus?”
When there are many things we can be thinking about our foundation for everything needs to be Jesus…so the questions is why?
Easter is the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead about 2000 years ago. We thank God for what He did through Jesus Christ and we celebrate that Jesus is alive today.
Easter must not merely be a looking back but a looking forward and this is why we can have a foundation for life that is built on Jesus that is solid and when the world is shaken by a virus we can stand firm knowing that we will not be shaken for Christ is the cornerstone we build our lives and the church upon.
Why Jesus? Because their are many counterfeits in the world and Jesus is the only true Christ who gives hope, peace and life.
Ravi Zacharias once was in a market in India. He found a shop owner who was selling Rolex watches for the average price of a Rolex watch, but the next shop over had another selling watches that looked identical to the Rolex watches, but for a fraction of the cost. Ravi asked how he could do that. The owner said, they were genuine fakes. He asked the owner what made them genuine fakes and the owner said it was because they are better than the shop down the street that is selling fake, fakes.
Everyone is looking for something real. Whether you are a Christian or not, don’t be fooled by the counterfeits out there if they look good and are genuine or not. As we live through this global crisis look to the real thing…Jesus Christ to be all that you need.
This Easter, my hope is to answer the question why Jesus and how can we know He is not another counterfeit, but Jesus is the true Christ and the true hope for the world.
If this is not your first Easter; you likely know that the whole Bible the Old and the New Testament’s point to Jesus. But even if it is we should remind ourselves how it points to Him.
1. The Old Testament points to Jesus
It is believed that Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament. This is important, because at the time there had been others who claimed to be the Messiah or Christ. However, only Jesus fulfilled all that was spoken, including things that He couldn’t control such as: being betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (Psalm 41:9, Zechariah 11:12-13)
9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.
12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.
This was fulfilled by Judas when Jesus was crucified three days before the first Easter. This is only one of hundreds of examples of Jesus fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies to show He was more than just a good teacher or a prophet. This is the foundation we see from the Bible that Jesus was and is more than just another man, but He is God.
2. Jesus’ Resurrection was Physically Witnessed
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Then Jesus appeared to His followers on 10 different occasions. With many of them physically touching Him. Jesus stands as the real thing because thousands of years before He was born people foretold of His coming and what would happen then He made claims that either He was crazy or He would God. As the Jewish leaders plotted and ultimately killed Him; thinking it was over Jesus conquered death because He is God.
Why Jesus? He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament and He is the only one who was able to defeat death.
Whether you knew why Jesus before or not. What do we do with these answers?
Celebrate Jesus’ resurrection everyday through our actions. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Thank God! Jesus was raised from the dead and it is seen through the witnesses and when we see the counterfeits attempting to trick us or those around us we are able to identify the real hope from the fake.
Paul goes on to write…
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
The Lord we celebrate and serve is ALIVE and makes us alive in Him!
As the world looks scarier and scarier we as Christ followers have the great hope that He is alive and we are alive through Him and His words after His resurrection…
Do not be afraid.
Do not fear, do not grieve for the traditions you have lost, believe and do not be afraid because ours is the One who suffered and died, but rose again so we have have peace, hope, safety and life eternal!
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
2020 is a year of great pain! God has been whispering for years, but it is time for the curtains to be torn again and the Spirit of God to shout to the world through this great pain!
Will you be a part of that megaphone to help rouse a deafened world?
In closing Paul finished chapter 15 with…
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:55-58
Where, O death is your victory, your sting?????
We have great victory because Jesus Christ is the real thing and He defeated sin and death for you!
If you know Jesus; celebrate the real and authentic love, hope, and life you have!
If you have been looking for the real thing and have found many genuine fakes and fake fakes for hope and peace and life; look to Jesus today! Admit your need for Him and repent of your wrong actions and thoughts (sins) and begin right now believing that the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) has made you a new creation through Jesus’ death and resurrection.