"But very early on Sunday morning, the women came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside. So they went in, but they couldn't find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were puzzled, trying to think what could have happened to it. Suddenly, two men appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed low before them. Then the men asked, "why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive? He isn't here! He has risen from the dead! Don't you remember what he told you back in Galilee" (Luke 24:1-6).
There are so many religions in the world today, and Christianity being one of them is also easily recognized as the largest. But having the largest followership in the world is not just what makes Christianity unique. The issues are that, first, other religions are human efforts searching for the supernatural, the Supreme Being or the invisible. But Christianity is God's effort in search of the lost man. The former involves human ideologies, imaginations and methods, but the later is a divine-initiated intervention, God coming down from heaven, putting on the nature of man in order to save man. Secondly, another difference between Christianity and other religions is that Jesus lived in this sinful world without getting entangled.
Thirdly, among the founders of the religions, he was the only person who predicated, willingly submitted to death, and came out from the grave to live forever. While all others who claim to be saviors or messengers of God are still held by the powers of death and grave. In fact, this is the essence of the Christian faith. That our savior died, was buried, and on the third day, he broke the chains of death and the walls of grave, coming out majestically to reign as the LORD of Lords and King of kings forever.
So, when we celebrate Easter, we should always remember that the event remains the most dynamic and efficacious divine efforts to unite us with our maker- God. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ remitted our sins, brought us back to God and gave us eternal hope. Yes, we must have this in mind as we celebrate this year. Look at the way Apostle Peter saw it while addressing the Jews, "But you followed God's prearranged plan. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to the cross and murdered him. However, God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life again, for death could not keep him in its grip. King David said this about him: 'I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is filled with joy, and my mouth shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy one to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life, and you will give me wonderful joy in your presence? Dear brothers, think about this! David wasn't referring to himself when he spoke these words I have quoted, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us.
But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David's own descendants would sit on David's throne as the Messiah. David was looking into the future and predicting the Messiah's resurrection. He was saying that the Messiah would not be left among the dead and that his body would not rot in the grave. This prophecy was speaking of Jesus, whom God raised from the dead, and we all are witnesses of this. Now he sits on the throne of highest honor in heaven, at God's right hand" Act 2:23-33 (N L T).
I quoted these long verses so that we could have the full view of a man who stayed, worked and knew a lot about Jesus. He (Peter) started by telling us that everything about Jesus (including His death and resurrection went according to God's plan. He said that it was 'God's prearrangement'. The role that Jesus played in our salvation is paramount. Before Jesus came, God initiated several sacrifices and ordinances to try to remit the sins of man, but all were not able to totally eradicate the guilt and consequence of it.
There were sacrifices of bulls, goats, lamb, etc. But the blood of those animals could not do the job. Then he unfolded His prearranged plan (according to Peter). And that plan was that his only begotten Son Jesus would pay (once and for all) the ultimate price to save mankind by dying on the cross. Jesus died for you. He died so that you will live. His coming brought to you, to mankind salvation from sin. Deliverance from Satan, demons and evil powers.
Protection from destruction. Healing from sicknesses and diseases. Peace in the place of trouble, fear and restlessness. Prosperity instead of poverty and wretchedness and hope for eternal life. Are all these working in your life today? If not, then Easter is not fully manifesting in you. His sacrifice automatically activates all the promises of God in your life. He indeed gave up all to achieve all for us. He is the only savior of mankind. Accept him into your life today and all these will be released upon you. Happy celebration!
Rev Gabriel Agbo is the author of the books/audiobooks: Power of Midnight Prayer, Receive Your Healing, Breaking Generational Curses: Claiming Your Freedom, Never Again!, I Shall Not Die, Move Forward, Power of Sacrifice and many others. Tel: +2348037113283 E-mail: [email protected] Website www.authorsden.com/pastorgabrielnagbo Twitter: pastorgabag