If there is one word to summarize Easter, that would be redemption. The word redeem means to “buy out”. The story of Easter is about God buying out all your sin, guilt and shame and exchanges it for a new life now and eternal life upon death.
The events of Easter are not only significant to Christians but to the human race. Did you know our calendar is based on the birth and life of Jesus?
Those alive closest to the time of Jesus believed these events were so pivotal in human history that it became the focal point for dividing time, B.C (before Christ) and A.D. Anno Domini (the year of our Lord, birth).
Allow me to take you on a journey from the beginning of time to the very first Easter to demonstrate the redeeming character of God.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2
The term heaven paired with earth, speaks of the expanse above the earth, not the place where God resides.
Genesis 1 says the earth was void and darkness was over the face of the deep. The Bible refers to God as light and life, yet the earth at one point was void of life and in darkness? Why would God create something so opposite of Himself?
Sometime between God creating the heavens and the earth, there was an event in Heaven, the place God resides, that altered life on earth.
In the book of Job 38:4-7 we learn that angels were present when God created the earth. Isaiah 14 the prophet Isaiah speaks of a time when one of God’s angels, named Lucifer, was expelled from Heaven, including 1/3 of the angels with him (Revelation 12:3-9), in a failed coup to dethrone God.
Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan, identifying his fallen nature as the chief adversary of God.
Since then he works night and day to destroy everything God has made. In referencing Satan, Jesus said in John 10:10 that he has come to “kill, steal and destroy.”
The earth being in darkness and void of life was the work of Satan and his fallen angels. His plan, since he could not defeat God, is to destroy everything God created.
But this is also where we see the nature and character of God revealed. In the beginning, when Satan laid waste to the earth, God redeems it by separating darkness and light, giving purpose to the dark and caused the whole earth to teem with life.
Satan then directs his efforts upon Adam and Eve and convinces them to disobey God. He wanted God to expel mankind just like he was and watch them turn on God.
Yet, no sooner did mankind sin, God set into motion a plan to redeem mankind and once again God and man were in relationship.
Satan hates everything God creates. He strives to destroy marriages, families, to divide people and nations. He is not interested in your happiness but in drowning you with guilt, shame, and condemnation.
This was never the way God intended life to be and not the way it would remain.
In the Gospel of John 1, a man named John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan river, preparing people for the promised Messiah.
John looks up one day and, in the distance, he sees a man approaching, but God whispers to John, this is no ordinary man.
“29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
Following this declaration, Jesus is water baptized and goes into the wilderness to fast for 40 days and 40 nights. It was here Satan takes another shot at God by going after this declared Messiah.
It’s here Satan approaches Jesus and promises Him the world in exchange for worshiping him. Jesus refuses him. Satan’s greatest desire is to get people to worship him and reject God.
Fast-forward three years, as Jesus is crucified and hanging on the cross, many of His follower’s scatter and hide.
- They can’t believe what has happened.
- Life did not turn out like they expected.
- As they watch him take His last breath all hope is gone.
Your biggest setbacks set the stage for God’s greatest comebacks.
At face value, it appears that Satan has outmatched God by destroying His one and only Son. But this is not the end of His story and the darkness surrounding you is not the end of your story either!
In Matthew 28, two of Jesus’ devout followers go to His tomb to mourn. They arrive to discover the stone that sealed the entrance to His tomb removed and are greeted by an angel who informs them that the Jesus who was crucified is not here He has risen!
Jesus’ death and resurrection once again defeated Satan’s plans once and for all.
When you accept Jesus’ gift of salvation, not only are you given a new life and the promise of eternal life, but He places His Spirit inside you that allows you to overcome every weapon Satan may attempt to throw at you.
God is in the redemption business and nothing you are facing is beyond His reach!