…so we won’t have to.
This is Passion week, this Sunday is Easter. Everywhere you look there’s pastel and bunny decorations, a great assortment of Easter baskets and the oh so anticipated Easter candy for sale. This day will come with Easter egg dying and hunting, kids of all ages enjoying baskets filled with the most delicious treats and surprises (no Peeps, please! Cute but yuck!). Relax! I’m not about to start knocking the Easter Bunny. My kids enjoy their Easter baskets every bit as much as the next kid, courtesy of their awesome grandparents. We don’t put much emphasis on the Easter Bunny, though, because for us that’s not what Easter is about. Actually, for many, that’s not what Easter is about.
Easter is the day we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our King. But even in just saying that, it’s easy to lose sight of what we’re really celebrating. It can easily become a well meaning tradition that we do every year, but without intentional reflection on the purpose of it and just what was done for us and why, that’s all it is. A tradition. I’m speaking for myself just as much as anyone else. We hear so much all the time about John 3:16, and how God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to die for us, that it can become just head knowledge. We know Christ died for our sins, but do we really process and let the truth of this stir in our hearts? The scriptures tell us that the price for sin is death.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
But consider this, we will all die at some point, so it’s not just a physical death, but the price is also eternal death, which is in Hell. Yes, people, it’s a real place for anyone that chooses to pay their own price for sin. Scripture tells us repeatedly that Jesus paid that price for us. Though He was without sin, He suffered a sinner’s death and went to hell between the time He died and was resurrected. Think about that for a moment. He paid our debt, on the cross through an agonizing death, then went to hell so we won’t have to. As if a horrible physical death wasn’t enough, Jesus went to hell for us.
Let that sink in. He wasn’t living it up in Heaven those three days, kicked back just waiting till He was resurrected, and His spirit wasn’t just chilling in His body in the tomb. He was on a mission!
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—” 1 Peter 3:18-19
He was in hell, taking back the keys of death and hell and ministering to those who’d died before (because remember He died for ALL sin, past, present and future), stripping the devil of his power over us! And although I don’t believe He had to put up much of a fight since He has ALWAYS had power over the devil, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t pleasant visit.
“But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.” Acts 2:24
Changes your perspective a bit when you think about the fact that He endured our place in hell so we wouldn’t have to. Doesn’t it? Him…in His complete righteousness and glory, in hell. It’s so much more deserving of our praise and devotion than we realize. We truly can’t begin to fathom the depth of His love. Mostly because by choosing to accept His gift, we will never taste the torture of hell since He already did. His sacrifice….this free gift…is far greater than we can comprehend. And it’s why we must be so intentional to reflect on it ALL the time but especially during the Easter season. This truth is what owns me, what sends me to my knees and pulls the tears from my eyes in overwhelming gratitude. He paid the ULTIMATE price for us-for ME! I gladly give Him my life and serve Him with everything I am for what He’s done for me. I am His. ~ Heather
Your Turn: Does this change your perspective of Easter? Of Jesus? Did you know there was more to it than Him dying for our sins? What spoke to you in this post? We’d love to hear how the Easter story impacts you. Please share in the comments. ~ Breath on Paper
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