When you think of Easter do you think of bunnies and eggs? Chicks and baskets? Possibly a cross or a church or spring dresses? I think of hundred year old houses. It’s a little random, I know, but at the heart of it, Easter is all about restoration.
You don’t have to look far to see what’s wrong with the world. The places where we’re broken, run down, worn out and falling apart are pretty obvious. There are times when it feels like the world is in ruins. That’s exactly why we need Easter.
Like an old, dilapidated house in the hands of a careful carpenter, God can put the pieces of our life back together. It’s easy to look at everything that is wrong with the world and ask “Where is God?” There is suffering and pain, injustice and cruelty. If God exists why doesn’t he just step in and fix things?
I think it could be argued that he did.
The story of Easter is a story of restoration. In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we read of Jesus living a perfect life and being accused anyway. We see him unfairly tried at court, innocent, but condemned anyway. We seem him sentenced to die and even though as God he could have taken himself down off the cross he doesn’t. He sacrifices. He pays the price for all the wrong in the world so that we can be in relationship with God.
The best known verse in the Bible is probably John 3:16 – it’s the one about how much God loves the world. I love the way The Message translates the verse that comes right after that:
“God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”
I’ve heard people say that religion is all about telling you what to do and making you feel bad for not being perfect. Religion might be that way, but I don’t think God is. When I read the Bible, I don’t see an accusation, I see a love letter.
There was a card years ago that said something like this:
“How much do you love me?” I asked Jesus.
And he stretched out his arms on a cross and said “this much.”
It says in the Bible that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). God loves us so much that he didn’t wait for us to come to him with our need, he took care of it before we even realized we needed him.
It doesn’t end there though. Jesus died, and three days later He rose from the dead. Sounds impossible right? Jesus is the Son of God, not just a good man, a teacher or a prophet. Jesus proved who He was by raising up from the dead. Through Him we can know God because Jesus paid for the sin that separated us from God.
If you want to have God in your life you can make that decision today. All you need to do is pray and ask God to come into your life and make you the person He wants you to be. Prayer is just talking to God. There is no right or wrong way to do it. God is not concerned about the words that you choose, he cares about the state of your heart. He hears you. You can pray a prayer something like this:
Jesus, I want to know you personally. I know that I am a sinner and that nothing I could do can make up for that. Thank you for dying in my place and paying the price for my sin. I know that my sin doesn’t separate me from God anymore. Thank you for forgiving me. I know that you love me and that I will spend eternity with you. I want you to be my Savior. Come into my life and take control, make me the person you want me to be.