Many people say the Bible is the greatest love story of all time. This is true, but it is also a redemption story.
From the time of Abraham until the New Testament begins, God’s people, “the Israelites,” are constantly, well…letting God down. Every few years God lifts them up, but they forget that it was God who did the lifting. They decline as a nation, God utters consequences for forgetting who was who, and then, through His mercy and compassion, He brings along a leader such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, and Ezra (among others), to remind them who He is and who gives them blessings!
God knew that no matter how much mercy He poured out year after year, we were never going to be able to save ourselves from our own destruction. So He provided the ultimate redemption plan: Jesus.
Fast forward to John 19:31.
Jesus has just been wrongly crucified. His family and followers look up at his lifeless body hanging from the cross. They are devastated and confused. Was He not meant to be the leader of the new nation? Was He not meant to save them all and lead them straight to the true promised land, Heaven?
Beaten and defeated, they lower Christ off the cross, wrap him in white cloth, anoint his tomb and body with the oils and herbs of the day, and roll a stone over the entrance. (John 19:38-42)
To them…that was it. It was over; they had lost their leader, their discipler, the person they loved and respected. Little did they know their story had been written long before their time. (Read through the book of Isaiah.)
The moment Jesus looked to Heaven, uttered his last words—“it is finished”—and took His last breath, the battle between God and Satan began. (John 19:30) I imagine a war between angels and demons, each lashing out at the other with swords and spears. Then from both ends of the spiritual realm, God and Satan emerge. The battle around them seems to be taking place in slow motion as God and Satan draw closer to each other. With His power and might, God strikes Satan down with one effortless swing of His sword. Satan and his minions flee. (Think about the final battle scene in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)
In our world, days have come and gone. Life for Jesus’ family and followers seems dim. In keeping with custom, Mary Magdalene daily brings herbs and oils to keep the body of their fallen Savior fresh.(John 20:1-10) Except today something is different: The giant stone that lay in front of the tomb is rolled away, the guards that were keeping watch are no longer there. She rushes inside. Gone! The body of their beloved Jesus is missing. Was his grave robbed? Is someone playing a cruel joke? She brings back several disciples so they can see for themselves. Devastated by the empty tomb in front of them they leave to head back home, when…Mary is met on the path by Jesus himself. He is alive! (John 20:11-18)
The moment God struck Satan down, Jesus rose and the weight of death was broken! The weight of our sin was laid on the cross with Jesus and buried forever. What does this mean? It means that Jesus took our sins to the grave and left them there! He arose clean and free! God demonstrated that not even death could hold down His people! The ultimate redemption story!
This also meant that the veil (both literal and figurative) between God and His people was torn in half! God is no longer only able to speak to a chosen few, but to all. No longer is only the priest allowed in the Holy of Holies; it is now open to everyone who comes to God humbly. Today we are able to live hand in hand with God. We no longer have to live by the laws of the Old Testament. We no longer have to make sacrifices with cows or lambs. Jesus took their place for us!
The ultimate redemption story is in fact the ultimate love story. God made us forever redeemed and able to live eternally with Him! Let us worship the only risen, living God and King today and forever! (John 20:30-31)
Do you believe that Christ did this for you?
Do you believe that God raised him from the dead for your sins and mine?
If you believe this today for the first time please say a prayer now, thanking God for what He did for you!
Then ask God to forgive you of your sins and to come into your life!
Welcome to the family!
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time or maybe for the second or third time, but you truly want to make a change please comment below and we would love to pray for you!
Have an amazing Easter!
Please watch these two music videos that I believe truly capture this message of salvation and what Jesus did for us on this day so many years ago!
- Why Do Fathers Provide? - June 19, 2017
- A Mom’s Super Power - May 19, 2017
- The Tomb was Only Borrowed - April 16, 2017
- Loosen Up on the Leash - March 17, 2017
- Not My Heart But His Heart - February 15, 2017
- God Said to Stop Asking When - January 16, 2017
- The Real Reason for the Season - December 16, 2016
- How to Receive Joy From Giving Love to the Least of These - November 18, 2016
- You’re Never Too Old To Do God’s Work - October 21, 2016
- Let’s Start With Our Speech - September 23, 2016