A Matter of Life

You’ve most likely heard the phrase “a matter of life or death” more than once, but Easter has a way of putting this saying into a clear perspective. To the secular world, Easter is a time for coloring eggs, eating candy, and buying new clothes. Religion dictates observing it by going to Sunday service, the one occasion when some people see the inside of a church. The true meaning of Easter can be found in the Scriptures, when many people who previously thought Jesus was just an ordinary man learned that He literally rose from the dead.

In the Old Testament we learn that Jesus is God Himself, and in the beginning we read about a heavenly conversation between the Father and the Son before mankind is created. “God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26, AMP). This is a beautiful example of just how much God loves us. Later, after Adam and Eve sinned, God took a stroll through the garden of Eden to consult with them (Genesis 3:8). Considering how Adam and Eve brought death into the world through what they did, it follows that no ordinary sacrifice for sin made under the Law would suffice.

God knew even before the beginning of time what was destined to happen when His Son Jesus went to earth. It was prophesied of old (Psalms 22:1-21; Isaiah 53:1-12), but few people believed it. At first, Jesus seemed like a regular guy Who learned a trade from His father before going on the road as a traveling preacher. Imagine living back then and not having the perspective that we as Believers have now, and wondering if Jesus was for real!

Jesus took on the sins of the entire world when He was crucified. He had to, in order to fulfill the prophesies, but His death on the cross was only half the story. The best half was yet to come when He rose three days later (Matthew 28:1-20; Luke 24:1-52). I sometimes wonder what I would think and feel if I could travel back in time to that period and experience what the disciples experienced.

It must have been a shock to many people to learn that the person they dismissed, doubted, and rejected outright was actually the Messiah, and God in human form. Jesus understood how difficult it was for His friends to believe that He actually returned from the dead, so when He appeared to them after His resurrection, He demonstrated just how real He was. “Because they were wondering and questioning in the midst of their happiness, he said to them, ‘Do you have anything to eat?’  They gave him a piece of baked fish.  Taking it, he ate it in front of them” (Luke 24:41-43, CEB).  Apparitions don’t get hungry, but real people who haven’t eaten in three days do!

After His resurrection, Jesus again affirmed His divine identity when He appeared to the disciples and called them His children (John 21:5). Imagine the joy that He brought to those first Believers when they saw Him alive and whole! Believing in, and accepting by faith, what Jesus did for us gives us a joyful, victorious life. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He is risen!

— Creflo Dollar