The church’s most important calendar season is Easter, more than Christmas celebrations, or even Pentecost Sunday (a misunderstood, often ignored event by many, including some Pentecostal churches).
Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday – the weekend the church calls Easter – recalls the major event in Jesus’ life. It demands recalling and highlighting yearly. And no individual, council, government, religion or organisation should ever be allowed to remove, demerit or make light of it. Easter is more than a mere holiday.
Easter is a time to rejoice in the fact that our Saviour, Jesus Christ, overcame for us what Billy Graham, and the Bible, of course, calls humankind’s biggest problem – sin. This victory included Jesus, through his Calvary self-sacrifice, dealing with the power of sin and sin’s result…unresolvable eternal separation from God.
Today, as scripture makes clear, through the death and resurrection of Jesus – and his shed blood – we can know God’s forgiveness of sin, be saturated in his love and friendship and be guaranteed eternal life.
The power of Jesus scarifice – eternal life
Reconciliation with Father God and full salvation does not come about just because a person’s parents are Christians or he or she joins some church. Nor because a person is faithful in exercising the important ‘big church five’…attending church, praying, studying the Bible, tithing and doing good things!
No, it’s only by accepting Jesus as Saviour and asking forgiveness for our sins that one becomes born again and a spiritual child of God with a guarantee of sins cleansed and eternal salvation (John. 3:16). Jesus alone paid the penalty of sin on our behalf. He was wrongly tried, tortured and crucified for us. He died for us, was buried and was raised again to life by the Holy Spirit (Romans. 8:11)! Because he lives, we too will live eternally.
The real heart of Easter is not cute little bunny rabbit chocolate eggs. It’s the reality that because of the shed blood of the crucified Christ we can ask for and receive God’s free gift of forgiveness of every sin (What’s sin? Independence from God, not obeying his laws and wrongdoing by thought, word and action). We can be born again and receive eternal salvation. That’s the real good news of Easter!
The power of Jesus’ blood – cleansing and forgiveness
Robert’s ‘blood experience’ …
‘One time I developed a very sore neck and, as neck vessels carry blood to the brain, required a colour doppler – a computer ultrasound check. As the ultrasound started I was suddenly jolted from my relaxed state by the thundering in my small cubicle. Amazingly it was the computer loudly sounding out “live” the noise of my blood in action – a totally incredible sound! Pulsating, really pounding, eerie, like a mighty rushing wind or huge ocean waves crashing against rocks!
‘Completely intrigued with the roar I could not help but think of the power of Jesus’ blood. If this was how the force of my human blood roared in action, how much more powerfully the blood of Christ? The doppler check became a graphic reminder of how much more meaningful and stronger beyond human blood is the sin-cleansing, life-bringing blood of our Saviour, Jesus.
‘I thought again about the great truth of the atonement – the substitutable death of Jesus on Calvary’s cross and the flowing of his blood to pay the penalty of our sins. That Father God who is holy and righteous, and who alone can grant an assurance of eternity, could never accept us – had not Jesus willingly given his life for us. In simple terms, at Easter 2000 plus years ago Jesus died that we might live! He has done it all – we cannot add to it by our own works or efforts.’
We owe Jesus – and the power of his blood – so much! At every communion service we should be humbly grateful for our salvation but even more so at Easter. L E Jones got it right with his unsurpassed and well-loved hymn, Power in the Blood, probably best known for its famous lively line, ‘There’s wonderful power in the blood.’
The power of Jesus’ gift – the Holy Spirit
Whenever negatives, from people or Satan, or through adverse circumstances try to rob us of our future hope and trust in God, let the Holy Spirit remind us of an irrevocable biblical truth. As Christians we are covered by the blood of Jesus; we don’t have a condemning past, only a great future!
The Holy Spirit will ensure that future as we trust him and continually develop our relationship with him. God sent Jesus to become our Saviour through the shedding of his blood. On his return to heaven, as promised Jesus sent his Spirit – the third person in the godhead – to be our friend and guide throughout life (See John 14:16-17TM). He too will never leave us or forsake us. When sickness, temptations, trouble and challenges come along, we’ll come through victoriously as we trust the Holy Spirit and the power of Christ’s blood.
Life has a habit of throwing unexpected curves. You’ve probably noticed that! But when it happens we don’t have to let our faith fall low, we don’t have to go digging into the past, as some would teach condemningly, and looking for faults to blame ourselves with. No! If you’ve accepted Jesus as your friend, Saviour and Lord you’re covered by his blood and have his Spirit within. Whatever the current problem, hand it over to the Lord in prayer. Things will change.
The really amazing thing is that this is not just the good news of Easter alone but an all-year round guarantee for every Christian! In Jesus we always have a future and a hope (Jeremiah.29: 11). Because of Jesus’ Easter victory, the past has no hold over us…unless we bring up rubbish or allow people to do so or worse still Satan, the defeated enemy, to regain control.
God’s Word says we’re free (John 8:35) so let’s live in that truth and other truths found in scriptures such as Ephesians 1:7. The blood of Jesus has accomplished so much!
Yeah, yeah! Enjoy a dark (the best) choc Easter egg – we will – but on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday rejoice with all heaven over Jesus’ Calvary victory!