Obsession with cinnamon buns, chocolate flavoured eggs, edible bunny rabbits, and retail sales show this world’s ignorance of Easter. While the world disregards the biblical origin and significance of Easter, believers see the absolute best of God and the heinous worst of humanity. The collision of God’s wrath and humanity’s sin occurred on that Roman Cross in the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. The course of human history was irreversibly changed, and the justice of Holy God was unrepeatably satisfied. At Easter, faith recognises Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
The many players caught in the events leading up to and following the crucifixion of Jesus had no idea of what they were participating in. They were blindly and willingly swept along by Satan and the Jewish leaders who relished their manipulation of the Roman legal system in carrying out the execution of their Messiah. But, as Peter later explained, Jesus was handed over to you (Jews) by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead… (Acts 2:23-24).
Jesus’ betrayal, mistrial, abandonment, and illegal execution had less to do with the Jew’s hatred of Him and more to do with God’s desire to bring justice upon the sin of the world (Rom 3:26). God did not set aside or dismiss His requirement of justice for our sin, to prove Himself merciful. Rather, God being the righteous judge, bundled our sin into Jesus’ and justly punished Jesus for it. As the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), Jesus had to die our death, because of our sin, for divine justice to be served.
Jesus, being God in human form, …humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). On the Cross Jesus bore our sins in his body (1 Peter 2:24). 1 Peter 3:18 tells us that Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God. Jesus only suffered once for all when he offered up himself on the Cross with our sins (Hebrews 7:27). Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Justice was served, God’s wrath was calmed, and we can receive peace from God through belief in what Jesus did on our behalf on the Cross.
Yes, the satisfied justice of God for our sin is to be received by faith (Romans 3:25). We cannot buy it, earn it, or enhance it. Jesus’ death and resurrection can never be improved upon, upgraded, or repeated. And it must be believed in to become true and effective in your life.
When Pilate, the Roman governor, gave the Jewish crowds a choice between setting Jesus free or the murdering insurrectionist Barabbas (Mark 15:7), they chose Barabbas (Matthew 27:17-21). Today, the world makes that same choice, give us anyone, but not Jesus. Give us pleasure, but not peace with God. Betraying Judas, well, he simply did openly what countless people do inwardly with Jesus every day by wishing Him out of their lives and out of existence.
Paul explained that which is of first importance… that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The same choice of Easter confronts us today, death or Jesus. Belief or divine justice.
I encourage you to choose life, choose forgiveness from God, choose belief in the Lord Jesus Christ!