This is a special blog I am putting out today to help recognize the reason we celebrate this time of year with Easter. It is longer than normal but I feel the Lord is guiding us all as we read.
O how the air seems to breathe newness. All the old of the year before has been washed away and a new life has begun. To be able to open the windows and let in the crispness and the sweet smells of lilac in. To hear the symphony of birds singing their songs every morning and evening. Feeling the sun warm our skin and the earth is so refreshing. Knowing God has created this wonder for us to experience. What greater feeling is there then spring after being cooped up through the long cold winter? Spring, such a jubilating time of the year!
With spring comes Easter, a time of year when we color eggs, hide eggs, make Easter baskets and visit the Easter Bunny. Moms and dads buy all kinds of candy and those wonderful chocolate bunnies we all love so much. It’s a fun time for all kids to play and dress up and celebrate. But so many have gotten so caught up in the worldly celebrations that they have forgotten the real reason we celebrate this year. If they do remember it’s usually only to go to church Sunday morning, worship for an hour and then go back to their own fun celebrations. How sad our world has become when we lose the real reason, we even have the Sunday called Easter.
Yes, I am a parent and so yes, my husband and I got caught up in the fun parts of celebrating Easter with our children and we did all the traditions too. For me, Easter remains a time of year to recognize and celebrate what happened so long ago on Calvary and we know the story by heart. We love our Lord for what He did for us and tell the story to all who will listen. But now is the time to tell the rest of the story, now is the time to look towards the future and what Jesus has planned for us. A work He began so many years ago. Jesus told His prophets that when this persecution time was over, it would be close to the end of time. We are in this time today! We know that Jesus is coming very soon. The Bible tells us so! Jesus is coming! He is coming to take us home to heaven! Are we ready, have we done all Jesus has asked us to do? “Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:12-13)
Jesus is truly wonderful and that is why we celebrate every year this time of year. Because Jesus loved us so much, He would live on this earth. He would face all the trials and temptations that we have. He would overcome Satan the same way we can overcome. Imagine the King of the universe coming to our sad world! Imagine Him living like we live! Jesus wanted to do it, because He loves us so much. He told God the Father, “I will die for them. I will go to live on Earth. I will take their punishment. What punishment is that? Our sins, our death. The scriptures reveal a God who has an overwhelming concern for the salvation of humanity, who reaches out “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Finally, after time the members of the Godhead allied in the work of bringing people back into a union with their Creator. Jesus highlighted God’s saving love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)
Jesus had been born into this sinful world. In taking our nature, the Savior has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal age He is linked with us. While on earth Jesus showed God’s love through every action, every word spoken. Jesus ate with sinners, healed the sick, and had compassion on all. Since Jesus came to live with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our grief’s. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviors life on earth, we see “God with us”. In a world so far from Jesus walking on earth can you still hear the Master’s voice teaching us to love, teaching us of God’s plan and calling us to Him?
God’s salvation plan was not finished at the birth of Jesus though, it was just the beginning. Following His ministry on earth Jesus faced crucifixion of the cross. His love for His Father, and His pledge to man, made from the foundation of the world, to become the Sin Bearer, led Jesus to endure the harsh treatment of those He came to save.
What greater love has been shown to man than what Jesus did? To endure the beatings, the crown of thorns, the nail pierced hands, and the denial of his friends. All this was done for the fallen race of man to help restore the broken relationship between humanity and God. With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus. In Jesus’ love, on the cross we hear “Lord forgive them for they know not what they do.”
That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all forgiveness is freely offered. “Whosoever will” may have peace with God and inherit eternal life. Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which HE came to do, and with His parting breath He reclaimed “It is finished” John 19:30. The battle had been won and Satan’s character was clearly revealed to the angels. What amazing love! What amazing grace!
Yet God’s love does not end there. Yes, the battle had been won but Satan still roams the earth seeking to destroy those who believe in Jesus, those who choose to follow the Savior. Jesus came to earth to be born into sin as you and I have, He struggled, He felt hurt and confusion, He was tempted. But He clung to God; He clung to salvations plan and three days after His death He rose from the dead. Our Savior not only died for our sins, but He has risen! There was still work to be done to bring us back to God. A promise still to be fulfilled. For the faithful, heaven and everlasting life was promised.
So, with love, God created this world. With love He created man and allowed sin. With love He sent His Son to die for us. With love we have a promise of a home in heaven. After Jesus’ resurrection He joined God in heaven with a promise to return asking us now to share the gospel to the world. We read in Matthew 28:19-20, “So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.” Now out of love, will we serve Him patiently waiting for the coming of Jesus as He so patiently waits for us?
Why are we asked to preach the gospel? It’s not only because it’s a wonderful story but it has a beautiful ending. Jesus told them, “Don’t be troubled. I am going to Heaven to prepare a place for you! I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3) Jesus is coming back with His angels! He promised! He is coming back for the people who love and serve Him. He is coming to take us to Heaven! Then we can live with Him forever!
Yes, Jesus is coming soon to take us home to live with him forever and even though our work here on earth is almost done, Jesus isn’t finished. If you feel you’re not ready for Jesus to come because of your past or how you might be living today. If you feel that you haven’t done your part in spreading the good news, that’s okay. There is still time to give your life to Jesus, there is still time to let Him into your heart. Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give free water from the spring of the water of life to anyone who is thirsty. Those who win the victory will receive this, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.” Revelation 21:6-7
Jesus, the One who says these things are true, says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. Revelation 22:20-21