Today the world celebrates the holiday called Easter, supposedly the day Jesus Christ rose from the grave. Easter is only found in one scripture of the bible (Acts 12:4 KJV) and it does not refer to Jesus’ resurrection. Properly translated, Easter means Passover. Passover was a holy day observed by the children of Israel to celebrate God providing protection from the plague of the death of the first-born while they were in Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12). That being said, the resurrection still has importance because if Jesus didn’t rise on the third day as He promised (John 2:19-22), our faith is vain and we are still sinners (1 Corinthians 15:17).
While the world is drawn to an empty tomb today, members of Christ’s church must never forget the cross. Scripture demands every Christian remember His death on the cross every Sunday by observing the Lord’s supper (I Corinthians 11:26, Acts 20:7). Lastly, Jesus affirmed in John 12:32-33 that if He would be lifted up from the earth he would draw all men to himself, signifying His death on the cross, not His resurrection from the grave.
The cross itself should not be admired. It only represented suffering and death. Hebrews states that Jesus endured the cross despising its’ shame. Isaiah foretold that Jesus would bear our griefs, carry our sorrows, be wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities on the cross (Isaiah 53:4-5). While this doesn’t seem encouraging it really is. The agony Jesus endured on the cross represents God’s everlasting love for mankind. He allowed His son to suffer and die so that humanity might live! Salvation became possible through the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross (Matthew 26:27-28).
Jeffrey Walker, Minister