=====================================================================Seeing lots of chocolate bunnies, colored eggs and jelly beans; frilly bonnets and Sunday best. Children running with baskets to find the hidden treasures left by the Easter bunny. That is the celebration which will be evident come Sunday morning but will we remember the event that is the real reason for the celebration?
God came to Earth embodied in a man to save us from our sins and Easter Sunday is the remembrance of the events that did just that. This past week has seen His steps from king to blasphemer, through undeserved punishment and death and finally to the Glorious Resurrection!
Died and Rose Again
To Save Us from Our Sins
Because He Loved Us
Our lives are like that of Peter on these last days of Jesus' life, we deny Him repeatedly:
Matthew 26:69-74 (NIV) - Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!" 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away." 74 Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!" Immediately a rooster crowed.
And then when we come to realize who He is, we weep bitterly over how we treated Him:
Matthew 26:75 (NIV) - Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.
But Jesus forgets the transgression and only asks: "do you love Me?"
John 21:15-17 (NIV) - When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." 16 Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."
His suffering, death and Resurrection served as full atonement for the sins of all men - bringing us into the light of His Salvation. And we just need to love Him, as He first loved us.
Psalm 118:1 (NIV) - Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.