Christians have written so much concerning Easter and its significance. However, the ceremonial aspect rather than the spiritual, to my mind, has, and continued to be held in high esteem. It is like chasing shadow instead of substance. Why was there any need for Easter? We have all sinned in Adam and Eve, in view of God’s curse placed on the couple for disobedience. God’s undying love for his creation made him find a means of redeeming his hand-made children. The bible told us he would send a redeemer. This had been prophesied by Prophet Isaiah about four hundred years earlier before the actual birth of Christ. The birth of Christ bore credence to the prophesies on the coming MESSIAH and so in the Gospel of John we get to know the clear reason for Easter for Christ was born to die for the sins of mankind. Roman 3: 23-25 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate the righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness”. In conclusion, the reason for Easter is to keep in remembrance the sacrifice Christ made to redeem mankind. He was the sacrificial lamb to cleanse us of all our iniquities, thereby made us entitled to dwelling with Him in God’s kingdom. In the gospel of John, he states: (“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16 (ASV)
If we look at human historical past in the Garden of Eden, man fell prey to the deception of the serpent’s most unsuspecting enticing statement Genesis 3: 1-7. Quoting the most significant parts of the discussion with the serpent where it succeeded in leading Eve to tasting the forbidden fruit, “Is it really true that God said,, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?” Response: “We may eat from the fruits from the trees of the orchard. But concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it or else you will die,'” By a negative reinforcement, “Surely you will not die” the did was done to their significant damnation. Sins continue to multiply to such an alarming proportion that God decided to wipe out the then world with the deluge. He saw that Noah was worthy and he commissioned him to build the salvation ark that accommodated man and all species of plants and animals. Noah restarted the new generation but soon began to sin again to a time when God found Abram (later Abraham) faithful enough to be a patriarch for a special ‘People of God’ later to be known as the Israelites. God separated him from his heathen root and was given instruction to head for a place He would show him. Abraham obeyed absolutely. He however had an “ADD ON” in person of Lot who was not part of the mandate. While Abraham pursued path of righteousness Lot went along the high life of SODOM and GOMORRAH. Sin re- entered and continue to be compounded. Four hundred years in slavery in Egypt and Moses emerged by divine providence to deliver them. The Passover feast was instituted to mark their liberation from Egypt followed by the forty years of wilderness experiences.
On return to the promised land, the Israelites continued to worship other gods beside Yahweh. Between Joshua and up to the time of King David there were intermittent emergence of few good judges. After King David, scale of sins of the ‘People of God’ outweighed their righteousness. It resulted in period of seventy years in exile. During the particular period of apostasy, major and minor prophets came to the scene bearing God’s warning. These prophets delivered messages of hope about the coming of a Messiah to be called EMMANUEL meaning (God with us). Prophet Isaiah was at the forefront of giving vivid description of birth and particularly onerous task of going to be the sacrificial lamb that should carry the burden of man’s sin. His blood was to be for cleansing the sins and iniquities of the human race not just the Jews only. As an eternal being, His blood would remain fresh through eternity to serve the purpose for which God sent Him.
During the baptism of Jesus, in John 3: 16-17 and Mark 1: 10-11, we learnt that He was designated as God’s dear Son in whom God was delighted and going through the gospels it was clear that God asked the Jews to “Hear Ye Him”. The following passages are important for our understanding of the mission of Jesus on earth. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of glory of God” Romans 5: 8 “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. and Romans 6: 23 “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” the resurrection of Jesus from the grave is a culmination of past redemption attempts from Noah’s Ark, Passover lamb sacrificed in Egypt to avert the plagues in Egypt Exodus 12: 1-end detailed out the origin of the feast of unleavened bread to bring about release from bondage. It is not out of the ordinary to believe that the blood of animals and birds that were hitherto considered enough to wipe off humanities’ sin before God became ineffective or no more efficacious for the need to reconcile man with God. In ordinary sense, the owner of any vineyard needed to receive feedback from his husband men without any reprisal to his servants sent. So was the situation that the major and minor prophets were telling the people who Moses and Aaron described as hard-hearted.
As the last sent to bear the consequence of the sins of People of God, Christ was also to bring even Gentiles to God’s grace provided they could have faith in HE that was sent. HE whose blood was spilled instead of animals and birds’ blood for remission of sins became the ultimate sacrifice that has ensured the lost Paradise in Adam and Eve is regained in Christ Jesus. The period set aside for Easter is to be for sober reflection over the agony of the redeemer to pay the debt for the sins of man before HE could reconcile us with God. our Lord Christ Jesus is the mystery of God’swisdom which remains unfathomable to mankind.