Easter. Time for hiding candy eggs in the yard for the kids. A special reason to dress up and attend church. Dinner with the extended family.
Though over half of adults consider Easter a religious holiday, a recent poll showed that relatively few of them think of it as the most important one. That’s surprising because Easter celebrates the one thing that separates Christianity from all other religions—the fact that Jesus Christ, who died on a cross, physically came back to life within three days!
Jesus claimed that he was the Son of God who had come to earth for the purpose of substituting himself for sinners in order to take the punishment for their sins. He even fulfilled his promise to physically rise from the grave (recorded in the Bible, John 2:19-22), proving that he was God’s Son.
Since Jesus willingly died for you, wouldn’t you like to know how you can benefit by this ultimate sacrifice?
The reason for Easter: Our separation from God
God did not create us like robots that automatically love and mechanically obey him. The first man and woman chose to disobey God and go their own willful way, causing a spiritual separation from him. Not only have we inherited their bent to sin, we have added our personal disobedience which all results in our own spiritual separation from God.
The Bible says…
“Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God.” Isaiah 59:2
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God….the wages of sin is death.” Romans 3:23, 6:23
People have tried many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God. But no bridge reaches God…except one.
The good news of Easter: God has provided a bridge
Jesus Christ died a cruel death on a cross and rose from the grave. Though he is God’s sinless Son, he became a human, took our place, and paid the penalty for our sin, bridging the otherwise uncrossable separation between God and us.
The Bible says…
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us….the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 5:8, 6:23
“Christ…suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18
“Christ died for our sins…he was buried…he was raised on the third day.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Through Christ, God has provided the only way to be forgiven for our sins and receive the gift of eternal life. But each person must make a choice.
Your choice: Accept or reject the truth about Jesus
To be forgiven by God and to receive his gift of eternal life we must agree that every other way is a dead-end, and trust in Jesus Christ alone as our Savior.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
The Bible says…
“To all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God….for God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 1:12,3:16
What is your decision?
Will you receive Jesus Christ right now and trust in him alone for your salvation? The Bible says that’s the only way to find peace with God!
* Admit your need—that you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness.
* Be willing to turn from trusting in anything else for eternal life and trust only in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
* Believe that Jesus died for you on the cross, came back to life from the grave, and is your only way to heaven. Accept Jesus’ offer to forgive your sins and come into your life as your Savior.
The decision must be made in your heart, and if you’ve made that decision you may want to tell him in a prayer like this:
“Dear Jesus, thank you for dying and rising again so that I can find peace with God! I do believe that when you died, You were paying the penalty for my sins. I now receive You as my Savior, so I can have forgiveness and the ability to please you. Thank you for the gift of eternal life!”
(An Easter adaptation of the effective gospel presentation from the popular tract Steps to Peace with God by Billy Graham.)