Easter – More than Chocolate and a bank holiday?

What does Easter mean to you?

A 4 day weekend?
Time with the family?
Hot cross buns?
Eating a ridiculous amount of chocolate?

As a child, receiving lots of Easter eggs was definitely the most exciting thing for me. My sister would always munch through all of her eggs before the end of Easter Sunday, whereas I would store my eggs away. I didn’t want Easter to end and so I would eat small pieces here and there over the coming months as they began changing colour as they became more and more stale.

Chocolate and time off is definitely something to get excited about. Yet for me the reason why I celebrate Easter now is the most incredible, mind-blowing, fulfilling reason to get excited about.

At Easter we remember that Jesus after living 33 years on the earth was crucified on the cross and then 3 days later he came back to life, he was resurrected!

Let me share with you 4 reasons why this news of Jesus’ death and resurrection excites me.

1, We see God’s love for us
The Bible is a love letter. A letter (very large I admit) about how God created us on purpose, loves us and has been pursuing us throughout history. God is crazy about his creation and desires for a relationship with everyone.
We see this love best through Jesus at the cross. God stepped into his world, he showed christoph-schmid-258813-unsplashpeople a better way of living, a life full of purpose and meaning. God was then willing to die by those he had been created by.

God is not angry, he is not bitter, he is not violent. God as the book of John describes is love. He loves us more than we can imagine, this is what we see at the cross.
God loves us so much that he is willing to suffer for us, to forgive us and ultimately he’s willing to die for us. God’s loving kindness is everlasting and is for everyone.

2, Death is defeated
Jesus died to save us. But if Jesus had only died nothing would have changed. Jesus however came face to face with death, it could not hold him, he defeated it and was resurrected. Therefore we have been saved from the curse of sin and death.
– Curse of Sin meaning the power it has over us which ultimately kills us. Jesus destroys this power that sin has over us. Sin being anything we do or say that is not of God. God however looks at us as holy and without blemish, we are no longer trapped by sin, sin no longer has a hold, we can now live in true freedom as the power of sin is no more.
edwin-andrade-162696-unsplash– Death means the end, no more, life ceasing. But Jesus defeated it, he showed us he had defeated it by coming back to life. We are free from death. Yes one day our physical bodies will die. But that is not the end, we will just be on the next chapter in life. Physical death is just a transitional phase of life.

In fact we see resurrection all around us. When a seed dies before coming to life as a plant. When a star dies, more stars are created and one day our physical bodies will die, but we will come back on the resurrected earth in new resurrected bodies.

3, We can have a relationship with Jesus
Having a relationship is a two-way thing. A relationship means interaction. A mixture of talking, listening, sharing and simply spending time together. God is not far off, he is not distant. God is with us right now and describes our relationship with him as Abba (Daddy) and child. Prior to Jesus, God would be in a temple or high up on a mountain, only particular people could interact with God. For the Jews it was the High Priest. Now however, that barrier has been torn down. We all can have access to God, God wants to interact with us all.

God desires a relationship with us no matter how we are:
– God can handle our thoughts
– God can handle our feelings
– God can handle our mistakes

We can show our worst selves to God and he will still love us and he will still want to hang out with us and ultimately he will desire to heal and to restore us.
For me, a relationship with Jesus keeps this thing of believing in God so real for me. Interacting with my Creator, is what you and I have been designed for and it’s what we can experience if we choose to.

4, We get to experience the Kingdom of God right now
Let me get this off my chest: I hate it when people make the good news about Jesus, all about going to heaven. The news that you get a ticket to what I heard one person describe it as, a far off floaty floaty land.

Unfortunately I have been guilty as a young Christian of giving this message and I’m sorry if you were one of those recipients. Unfortunately I’ve also heard my fair share of preachers giving this “ticket to heaven” message as well.
Being a follower of Jesus isn’t about getting a ticket to heaven. It is all about being in a relationship with Jesus right here, right now.
alexa-mazzarello-316937-unsplash

It is about experiencing the Kingdom of God, which was Jesus’ message from the start of his ministry, again right here, right now.

The fact that God wants to work his kingdom, in us and through us. That God gives us tastes as to what the Kingdom of God will be like when one day heaven and earth become one.

40 days after this glorious resurrection, Jesus ascended to be back at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus then sent us all the promised Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit plays many roles, mainly thought the Holy Spirit comes to help us grow the Kingdom of God as we show the world who Jesus really is. Through the Holy Spirit’s power, the love of Jesus can work through us.

I love that we get to play a part in this Kingdom of God if we let him. It’s our choice though. Will we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us?

So much more than chocolate and time off
Ultimately Easter is far more exciting and fulfilling than what the TV adverts suggest. For me personally I began a relationship with Jesus 13 years ago. Even though life has had its ups and downs, knowing God is there, seeing God work through me and seeing thousands of prayers answered has affected and transformed my life. Being in a relationship with Jesus is the most important and most incredible thing that has ever happened to me.

This Easter, may you see that God loves you so much, he is pursuing you and desires to be in a relationship with you. This really is good news!

Happy Easter Everyone!

p.s. if you would like to find out more about having a relationship with Jesus please send me a private message, I would love to hear from you.

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