Spring is here. Most of us are probably excited about that. While I’ve enjoyed a break from mowing the lawn, I’m looking forward to warmer weather. Another thing that Spring brings is Resurrection Sunday—commonly known as Easter. This is of course the time in which we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Why is this such a big deal? If you have had any association with the Christian faith you have surely heard the death and resurrection of Christ referred to multiplied thousands of times. It can easily become just another Bible story or a reason to get a little time off from school. But in reality the significance of the resurrection is huge.
One of the things that Jesus cried out while He was on the cross was, “It is finished!” What did He mean by that? I have tackled many tasks over the years. Oftentimes I have considered a job finished and then soon realized that was not the case. That often happens when I’m painting. I decide I’m finished so I clean the brushes and put up the paint, and then I see spots that need more attention. So even though I have finished working, the job is not completely done. But when Jesus said He was finished—the work was completely done.
For one thing “it is finished” means that the humiliation that Christ must endure was coming to an end. In order for the Son of God to provided salvation, He had to come to earth as a man so that He could live and die as a man. Jesus’ humiliation began when He was born. The Son of God, the Creator of the World, the Eternal God came to earth as a helpless baby. He then had to undergo all of the miseries of life; things that the Son of God had never had to endure. Jesus also endured the judgment of God. On the cross, Jesus was suffering under God’s wrath as a substitute for sinners. Then the Giver of Life had to die and be buried, and continue under the power of death for a time. All of this had to be done because Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. So on Resurrection weekend, we celebrate that the humiliation of Christ was finished.
But we also celebrate that Christ exaltation was just beginning. The first step of Christ’s exaltation is the fact that the angel at the tomb could say on Sunday morning, “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.” Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee that the salvation He came to accomplish was indeed perfectly finished. He would never have been resurrected if He had left something undone.
And then, forty days later, a second aspect of Christ’s exaltation took place. He ascended into heaven and was seated at the right hand of God the Father. He is seated “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” So Jesus Christ is King, and the resurrection was coronation Sunday.
This is a big deal. No matter how many times you have heard or read the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is not just a story. It is not just a good excuse for a vacation. There is no bigger truth than that of Christ and His death and resurrection. It changed history. The year on our calendar is a constant reminder that we live Anno Domini, in the year of our Lord. Is He your Lord?
He has risen! He has risen indeed!
Mac Williams is the Pastor at Two Rivers Community Church which is located at 3400 Little York Road. He can be reached at 898-2824 or visit the church’s website at www.tworiverscc.org.