What Easter means to me
Approximately 74 percent of adults in Minnesota said they identified as Christians in 2014, according to a religious landscape study conducted by the Pew Research Center.
Consequently, nearly three-fourths of us will be celebrating Easter this Sunday.
Most of us can give a brief explanation of why Easter is significant. It would probably be something along the lines of, “Jesus died for our sins.” It’s true, but it can seem cliché and impersonal.
Personally, I see Easter as a religious Thanksgiving in the sense that we’re thanking Jesus and God for the sacrifices they made so heaven would be opened to sinners.
Jesus’ sacrifice is knowing he was about to endure a cruel death, and facing it without objection.
That doesn’t make going through with it any easier. Before Judas Iscariot betrays him, Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, “My Father, if it possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will,’” (Mark 26:39). Jesus is pleading that this burden may be removed from him, but in the end, he fulfills God’s plan for him.
To me, that is the ultimate act of faith – to be willing to die because you believe God’s plan is greater than your life.
Right before he died on the cross Jesus said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 27:46). For those without a thesaurus nearby, ‘forsaken’ means abandoned or deserted.
God heard Jesus’s shout and knew that He could stop his son’s agonizing death, but He knew the greater good surpassed the love for his son, so he let Jesus die for us sinners. That’s God’s sacrifice.
I’m not a parent, but I can imagine how difficult it would be for a parent to watch their innocent child suffer a horrific death. On top of that, to know that you can prevent it from happening. That’s the unenviable position that God was in.
Those two sacrifices by Jesus and God enabled Jesus to resurrect from the dead, and gave believers the hope of eternal life.
For that, I’m forever grateful.