What’s So Special About Easter? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bore our sins to His cross and died in yours and my life. That is the difference.
A Special Sacrifice
His sacrifice of Himself upon the cross forever changed the cross. Invented and used as an instrument of torture and death for criminals was transformed to the very symbol of God’s love and His signature for the church. Where once man hoped (i.e., I hope such and such will happen), the cross represents our hope (a sure confidence in the blood of Christ).
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A Special Burial and Resurrection
Not only was His sacrifice special, but the Resurrection was special. Jesus spent 3 days and nights in a tomb prepared for but never used for a rich man. It was the special fulfillment of scripture, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…” (Isaiah 53:9)
The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies marks His burial as very special. But it was the three days and three nights in the tomb which is really special. I deal with this subject in What’s True About Easter. Many try to explain it away, but it always best to take the Bible literally unless told otherwise. Such an approach clarifies scripture not only in Matthew 12:40, but in such books as Revelation.
What’s So Special About the Characters
Priests. In Jesus’ day He had many enemies. Among them were the Jewish priests, primarily the Pharisees. They knew that He claimed to be the Messiah, and they also knew He met every requirement of the scriptures. But He was a threat to their position in Jewish society, so they opposed Him. They bought Judas’ help in delivering Him to them, they forced a secret and illegal trial, bought false witnesses, and then forced Pilate to execute Him.
Pilate. This man is a Roman equestrian or knight of the Samnite clan. His appointment came as a result of Sejanus, who had strong connections to Emperor Tiberius. There are some who venerate him for declaring Jesus’ innocent, but most believe he was weak. His cruelty during his governorship indicates his moral weakness.
In any case, the priests perceived this weakness and played on it. There is the possibility that Pilate was under pressure from Rome and desperately trying to set Jesus free. But he lacked the courage to do what he knew was right, washed his hands, and turned Jesus over to be crucified.
Jesus. The Old Testament is full of prophecies of the Messiah. Everyone that dealt with his birth, death, and resurrection were fulfilled. Here are a few:
- Numbers 24:17 – …there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…
- Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.
- Isaiah 11:1 – And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
- Micah 5:2 – But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah…out of thee shall he come forth… Note: There were two Bethlehems, thus the more specific name.
- Isaiah 7:14 – Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
- Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – Fifteen verses concerning the Messiah as our crucified Savior.
- Isaiah 53:10-12 – The resurrection is pictured here.
- Zechariah 12:10 – …they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
- Psalm 22:1-18 – the crucifixion described.
- And more.
These are just a few scriptures that were fulfilled. And there are many more!
What is So Special About Easter?
Jesus Christ, God the Son of God, willingly went to the cross to pay for yours’ and my sin. He died for us and then three days and three nights later He arose! And now He sits on His throne forever in heaven.
He is my Savior, and I hope He is yours as well. He’s only a prayer away.
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