Easter Sunday, 2024

Easter Sunday

Last Sunday, in our Easter/Resurrection message, we looked at Paul’s gospel presentation in Antioch, Pisidia (Acts 13:16-48). Easter is the Christian holiday where we celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead (observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon on or after March 21st). It is also the Jewish Passover, which is the highest holy day of all Jewish feasts remembering the day when God delivered His people out of the bondage from Egypt by His omnipotent hand (Exodus 11:1-12:30). God’s people Israel and those who believed in Him were spared the death of their firstborn son as they in faith put the blood of the required male Lamb above the doorpost of their house. Death then “passed over” them and they were saved (Ex. 12:12-13; Rom. 6:23, etc.). Likewise, Jesus the God-Man is the Passover Lamb who was crucified for the sin of the whole world (John 1:29, 14:6, etc.). God will “pass over” all who take refuge in Him forgiving us of our sin through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (John 3:16; Acts 4:12, etc.).

In Antioch, Pisidia Paul first shared this good news of God’s forgiveness to the Jewish people, who knew much about God (Acts 13:16-40, etc.), but they had not yet trusted in Jesus the Savior of the world (Acts 13:41, etc.). Likewise, today, we have many people in church who can tell us all kinds of facts about the Bible- such as Jesus is God who died on the cross and rose from the dead (James 2:19, etc.). They know things like how many disciples Jesus had when He walked on the planet two thousand years ago and the number of days of creation, but sadly they have never trusted in Jesus as their personal Savior (John 8:24, etc.). They are lost and destined for “the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11-15, etc.). God wants such religious people to realize they “must be born again” (John 3:7) so they can be saved “by grace… through faith” (Eph. 2:8-9, etc.). Sadly, most of the religious people on that day in Pisidia years ago when Paul preached this good news of salvation rejected God and died in their sins (Acts 13:41-46, etc.), so Paul turned to those who knew very little about the God that made them (Acts 13:42; 17:25, etc.). In our culture, this would be similar to people who never or rarely attended church. People who just have heard Jesus’ name used as a cuss word and/or never have heard the message that He is the God-Man who died on the cross for their sins and rose from the dead the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-4, etc.). They are clueless about the details of the Bible- like how God spoke everything into existence out of nothing (Gen. 1:1-31; John 1:1-5, etc.) and who the first man and woman were (Gen. 2:1-3:24, etc.). This is becoming more and more common in our culture today in America which is drifting from its Judeo-Christian heritage. To these people God also turns with His love extending the free gift of eternal life (Acts 16:43; Rom. 6:23; John 3:16). THIS IS WHAT EASTER IS ALL ABOUT: will God’s judgment “pass over” you? The Lord “raised [Jesus] from the dead… [and through Him is] preached… the forgiveness of sins… everyone who believes is justified from all things from which [they] could not be justified by the law…” (Acts 13:34, 38-39, etc.).

Have you been “justified from all things?”
Are you declared innocent- absolved from all your sin- because Jesus’ blood has been applied to you?

The Bible shows us here “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48; Rev. 22:17, etc.).

In our sunrise service, we looked at the hope Christians have in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Unlike the world, we do not have to be “sad-you-see” because OUR LORD LIVES! (Matt. 22:23-33; Acts 5:17, etc.). Jesus conquered sin and death once for all and will never return to the grave (Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 15:20; Rev. 1:5; Rom. 6:20; Heb. 7:27; 9:12, etc.). He is the “pioneer…of our faith,” the One who has gone before us (where no other could go) to prepare a home for us (Heb. 12:2 NET; 6:19-20; John 14:1-4, etc.). One day, Scripture is clear, “death [will be] swallowed up” into life for those who are His when He returns, and our bodies will be glorified (that is, resurrected) like His glorious resurrected body- forever (1 Cor. 15:54; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rom 8:24-30, 34; 1 John 3:2, etc.). While the days we live in may be getting darker (Gal. 1:4; 1 John 5:19, etc.), Christians are to set our eyes toward His return knowing, just like that Easter morning long ago, light will win over darkness when the Son of Man comes for us! (Rom. 16:20; 1 Pet. 1:13; Hab. 3:4; 2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 22:16, 20-21, etc.).