To some, especially children, it means to wake up on Easter morning and hoping to find a basket full of chocolate candies or going to an organised event with the family to hunt for Easter eggs. I believe for those who enjoy such celebration, it is a fun and wonderful time for the whole family. For the Christians, Easter is much more than a basket full of candy and an Easter egg hunt.
I know most of you reading this perspective are Christians and so I want to ask you this today: What does Easter mean to you? To a young Christian, this might be your first Easter and you might finally get to know what it really means, i.e. that you have found Jesus as your Saviour and it totally changes your life. To some Christians, it means to hear the same old story again and move on with life as usual. But for some of you, it may be a day that moves you. It’s not just knowledge, but a message that you can’t stop talking about after the Easter convention.
To fully understand what Easter means to you, you must answer this question, “Who is Jesus to you?” This same question was asked by Jesus to his disciples, who do you say that I am? He was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God and was compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah and Jeremiah. Peter was always quick to respond and professed that Jesus is truly the Messiah — the Christ. However Peter could have got it wrong. For in his mind, he might have thought that Jesus was the earthly King that the whole Israel was waiting for, a king like David who’s earthly Kingdom has spread far and wide. And that was probably why he rebuked Jesus subsequently for talking about going to Jerusalem and dying there.
Jesus didn’t come to fulfil Israel’s expectation for a King. Jesus came to fulfil God’s mission to save the world, not by mighty power but by the Cross. The Cross is not the symbol of doom. It is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. God sent His son to earth to die as a sacrifice for all or our sins. Jesus died on the cross to forgive everyone for all the sins that have been committed. Jesus’ blood covered every person from the beginning of time and to the end of the world. He died for all of our sins. On the third day (Easter), Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death. Jesus is the only God who has ever risen from the grave. Jesus is the Saviour of the world. Without Jesus, we could not have ever been Christians. Jesus became the mediator between God and common man. He died so that everybody could live forever. Each person on the face of the earth can become a Christian.
Who is this Jesus to you? Peter’s expectation and dream was shattered because he didn’t fully understand Christ’s mission and missed the point when he said, “Jesus was the messiah.” That is one of the reason why, Peter didn’t understand what Jesus was going through when Jesus was persecuted and crucified on the cross. He went into hiding. So who is this Jesus to you? Yes, Jesus is our saviour, but if we stop there we might also miss the point. Jesus didn’t just died for us, Jesus died for the world.
So back to the question, what does Easter mean to you? If we stop at Easter as a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, then we missed the point. Jesus died as a ransom for the sins of every person on the face of the earth. He died for the Jews and the Gentiles. Jesus died for every ethnicity on the face of the earth. Each person on the face of the earth has the same chance to become a Christian. Easter is not just about us, it is also about our lost family members, lost friends, lost colleague and lost person next to you. Easter is not just good news to Christians but most importantly, Easter is good news to the lost. As we celebrate Easter this morning, let us remember those who are lost around us, let us pray that God will open doors for us to share His good news to them before the day ends.
Preacher Alvin Lim
March 31, 2013