The Easter story is the greatest story ever told. More than bunnies. More than eggs. More than chocolate. More than pastels. The Easter story is about God, and the Easter story is about you.
The Son of God became a man so he could die as the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind—past, present, and future. He was born in a borrowed stable in Bethlehem and buried in a borrowed tomb outside Jerusalem. He lived a perfect, sinless life, exactly the kind of life you and I could never live. During His ministry He performed all kinds of miracles and good deeds—healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead, healed the lame.
He was the best teacher the world had ever known. No one would withstand the authority with which He spoke. His subject matter, in one way or another, always revolved around Himself.
He spurned the religious system of His day—a religious system that required men and women to do certain things and to not do certain things in order to be accepted by God. A religious system that had perfected self-righteous legalism. He came proclaiming a new system—the gospel—which clearly declared that you can’t do enough good and you can’t be good enough to be accepted by God. God demands perfection, and you’ll never attain it.
So, He said that’s why He came. To be the perfection you could never be. Rather than legalistic self-righteousness, He declared extravagant grace. He didn’t lessen the Law’s demands; He fulfilled them perfectly. He fulfilled them perfectly because you and I could not.
The religious leaders had enough and had him killed. He died the most agonizing death any human being would ever experience. He suffered the horrors and torment of Roman crucifixion, but He also experienced the deepest agony—being forsaken by God as he bore the penalty for the sins of mankind. For three hours on the cross, Jesus willingly received the wrath that was due you and due me because of our sin. And He endured it with joy. Why? He knew death was not the end. He knew Easter was coming. He knew the way was being made for us to have a beautiful relationship with God. He knew He was accomplishing the work necessary for our forgiveness and reconciliation with God.
He knew Good Friday was not the end of the story, thankfully. He knew Easter Sunday was coming. The resurrection makes the difference. So, dear Christian, we have joy. We have hope. We have life. We have a resurrected Jesus.