It’s Easter week, the highlight of the year for followers of Christ. When I was younger I found it strange that the day commemorating the death of Jesus is known as “Good Friday.” What possibly could be good about the Son of God dying?
But as I have grown in my understanding of the Bible, I recognize that the death of Jesus is an essential aspect to the story. The cross reminds us of the serious nature of our sin, and the reality of sin in our world. It is a much bigger problem than most of us realize. Sin separates us from God in a way that we cannot build a bridge to get to him.
But at the cross, Jesus took upon himself the sins that we have committed. Paul said that Jesus, “became sin for our sake.” The punishment that we were due fell on the Son of God.
And then of course, without the cross there could be no Resurrection. The cross placed Jesus in the grave, but we know that the grave could not hold Him. The story of Easter is that God has the power to defeat death. Not only does he have that power, but he has exercised it in the Resurrection of his Son. And that gives us hope that we, too, can be raised from the dead.
Every time we celebrate Easter, we anticipate what God will do one day for those who have trusted in his Son. We know that in this world we will eventually die. But because Jesus defeated death, we will live again.
As early as the Book of Job we read the question, “If a man dies, will he live again?” The answer of Easter is yes. The answer of the Bible is yes. The answer of God is yes. And for that we give thanks.