There are two events that, if they did not happen, Christianity would crumble. Those events are the virgin birth and the resurrection. Those events are the most critical in history.
What makes the resurrection so important is that without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, no one has hope beyond this life. The best you can hope for without the resurrection is to live a long, healthy, and happy life, but then it is all over.
We need to start at the beginning of time to set the stage.
God spoke the universe into existence (Genesis 1).
Side note – uni means one, verse means voice. By calling everything out there “the universe,” we acknowledge that everything came into existence by one voice, the voice of God.
However, humankind was unique. God created the human race in His image. One may wonder how we are created in God’s image. None of us look alike; we are of different sizes and have different colors of hair, skin, and eyes. How can we collectively be made in someone’s image and all have a different appearance?
Being created in God’s image has nothing to do with appearance; it is all about what we are made of. Each human consists of the same three components within God’s person – spirit, soul, and body.
Shortly after the creation of Adam and Eve, God gave them only one “thou shalt not” command. God allowed them to eat from every tree in the Garden of Eden except one. If you do not know the story, you can probably guess what happened next. They ate fruit from the tree God told them not to eat. Sin had now entered the world. With sin came death – spiritual death and physical death.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized they were naked and made coverings from the leaves of plants. God, however, gave them the promise of the virgin birth, then killed some animals to make clothing for them. God was showing the human race that sin is forgiven only by the bloodshed of the virgin’s son.
Many honorable, trustworthy, and respectable people have lived through history. Why could not one of them shed their blood for the world’s sins?
The problem is that regardless of how ethical and moral a person is, they are still a sinner. A sinner cannot wipe his sins clean, let alone everyone else’s sins. A sinless sacrifice is needed; nothing else will work.
The Bible explains that sin passes down through the man (Romans 5:12). Therefore, the only acceptable sacrifice would be a person without an earthly father – The Son of God.
Move forward from the Garden of Eden a few thousand years to Jerusalem. Mary, the virgin, is expecting her child. An angel comes to Joseph to explain the situation. While talking to Joseph, the angel reveals the purpose of this miracle child, “…he shall save his people from their sins.” The promise of the virgin birth given to Adam and Eve was now less than nine months away. Once the baby is born, the Son of God is living within humanity as the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world. His name is Jesus Christ.
When Jesus begins His ministry, John the Baptist sees Him and proclaims to the multitude, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Everyone in the crowd understood what John was saying. As God shed blood to figuratively cover the sins of Adam and Eve, this man, the Lamb of God, is the sacrifice that would cover the sins of the world.
He healed the sick, brought sight to the blind, walked on water, raised the dead, and many other things. Still, His most significant work would be on a mount called Golgotha, and His greatest miracle would come inside a tomb on a Sunday morning.
As the crowds witnessing Jesus’ miracles and listening to His teaching continued to grow, the envy of the Jewish leadership also increased. The Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy; the Romans feared an insurrection. The pieces were in place for the execution of Jesus. Unbeknownst to all, they were about to witness the fulfillment of the promise God gave humanity back in the Garden of Eden. God would sacrifice Himself for our sins.
The Lamb of God is sacrificed on Mount Calvary.
Then comes Sunday morning. We call it Easter.
If Jesus remained in the tomb, it would prove that the virgin birth was not real. If someone else raises Jesus from the dead, it will show that Jesus is not Almighty God.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves all the rest of the story. The resurrection of Christ gives us hope. If He remains in the grave, how can we believe the Bible when it speaks of our resurrection?
Salvation is by faith. Many of us will try like Adam and Eve to cover our sins. We may not use leaves, but we will use good deeds and religion, among other things, but salvation is only through God’s promised Lamb.
We must understand that whatever we try to use to cover our sins is unacceptable to God. Faith in His Son’s death and resurrection is the only means of salvation (Romans 9-10).
The magnitude of Easter? It is the most significant event in history, and every human’s eternity depends on it.
What are you trusting in to wash your sins away?
* * * * *
As people continue to seek solid answers in these uncertain times, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and hope. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com