Easter is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s victory over death. Only a few understand this meaning of Easter. What does Easter and Jesus have in common? Let’s closely take a look.
#1 Jesus Christ’s Birth
Jesus Christ’s birth was foretold by several prophets in the old testament (Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-4). His birth was to initiate the reconciliation process between man and God, after the fall of man in the garden of Eden (Heb. 2:17; John 10:10).
Jesus’ birth, was just a phase in the redemption plan of God. The ultimate price which is death (shedding of blood – Heb. 9:22; Matt. 26:28) was the medium through which man will be bought back (1 Cor. 6:20) or redeemed to reconnect with the Father (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
#2 Jesus Christ’s Death
God loved man so much and sought to start afresh with man. He saw the untold hardship man went through to fellowship with him as evident in the old testament (Lev. 8:15; 2 Chro. 29:24; Eze. 45:15;17). The Passover – when Moses led God’s people out of Egypt, was characterized by the sacrificing of unblemished lambs (Exd. 12:11-13).
Easter and Passover have a special relationship for many reasons. Jesus became the “lamb without blemish” as he sacrificed his life for the sins of all who believe in him – to bring them into right relationship with the Father. (Luke 22:14-20; Heb. 9:1-28).
The once and for all sacrifice – The death of Jesus (Heb. 10:10) was what gave birth to the new covenant. This covenant opened the doors for all of God’s original intentions about man to be fulfilled.
#3 Jesus Christ’s Burial
The burial of the Lord Jesus Christ is an integral part of the gospel message. We are sometimes prone to consider it insignificant detail without much importance but this ought not to be.
Paul the Apostle learnt a voice to this when he was clearly outlining the key focus of the gospel message he heralded (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Though at some point we see him only mention the Lord’s death and resurrection (Rom. 4:25).
How do we know that Jesus actually died?
We know it because he was buried (Matt. 26: 12; Matt. 27:57-66).
What does the burial of Jesus Christ signify?
- His burial was an assurance that His resurrection was a reality (Eph. 4:8-10).
- His burial also was the fulfillment of that which was prophesied by Isaiah the prophet (Isa. 53:9).
- His burial is remarkably connected with our baptism (Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:1-4).
The burial after his death and the appearances after His resurrection give testimony to the reality of his death and resurrection.
As clearly stated by the Matthew Henry commentary; “He was buried, to make His death more certain, and his resurrection more illustrious”
The primary truth burial teaches us is that “Christ did really and actually die, and was laid in a grave.” He really suffered; was bruised for our iniquities; and died. “Let us mark this well.”
#4 Jesus Christ’s Resurrection
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the anchor of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ’s resurrection signifies His victory over death. If He had not risen from the dead, if He had merely died and not been resurrected, He would have been considered just another teacher or Rabbi. However, His resurrection changed all that and gave final and irrefutable proof that He was really the Son of God and that He had conquered death once and for all.
How do we know that Jesus was actually raised from the dead?
Consider the following scriptures; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; Rom. 10:9; Rev. 1:17-18
#5 Jesus Christ’s Ascension
The ascension of Jesus Christ is often not taken serious by a good number of Christians. Those who fall into this class think Easter is the end of the celebration. Christ’s ascension holds a lot of significance as well as play a vital part in the redemption story. If we simply collapse the ascension into the resurrection, we miss stunning benefits tied directly to Jesus being taken into heaven.
Ascension of Jesus benefits us in a number of ways viz:
- It establishes Jesus as the reigning King over all powers in all ages (Eph. 1:19-22; Eph. 2:6-7; Eph. 6:10).
- It gives us access to God’s throne for mercy and grace (Heb. 4:14; Heb. 1:3; Heb. 4:16).
- It provides an Advocate on earth whose presence is limitless (John 14:16-17).
- It gives us the spoils of Christ’s victory – gifted leaders and spiritual gifts (Eph. 4:7-12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4:11).
- It keeps us longing for His return (1 John 3:1-3).
#6 Jesus Christ’s Return (Rapture)
The ascension creates a longing for Jesus’s return (Acts 1:11). It reminds us His reign is “already” but “not yet.” Though presently seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Heb. 1:3), Jesus will return earth to establish His kingdom in fullness and put his enemies under his feet (1 Cor. 15:24–27).
It’s no wonder we are longing for the return of our King! When Jesus descends in the way he ascended, the bad times will be over for good, the darkness will lift, and everything sad will at last come untrue.
While we celebrate another Easter this year, it behooves to note that it is not just a moment of religious sanctimoniousness. It is a period to deeply reflect on all God did to reconcile man back to Himself by sacrificing His only begotten son (John 3:16). It is a season of deep appreciation knowing that Jesus offered Himself to restore us back to our lost glory.