I was thinking, this morning, about my Facebook status (as I often do.... whether that's sad or not). I wanted to post about Easter/Resurrection Sunday, but I wasn't sure how to sum it up without saying something that has already been said.
I wanted to find something that summed up what I know to be true.... but a status update doesn't really do that all justice.
Here's what I've learned in my years of homeschooling (with Bible as a specified subject), being the daughter of a pastor, going to Bible school for 3 years, and being in ministry in a variety of capacities:
God always has been. It's a difficult idea for our minds to grasp, because we understand everything to have a beginning and an ending.
So God has always been, and then he creates the world. He puts forth time, space, day, night, vegetation, water, the planets, animals, and finally he creates Adam.
He makes Adam from clay/dirt/mud (we are God's PlayDo project, just sayin') and then he BREATHES life into him.
I have to skip over a lot here - but the basic gist is: God creates humans and places them in this perfect place - an earthly Heaven, if you will. He says you can eat anything here, do anything here, just don't touch this one tree. They walk with God in this perfect garden - like literally he came to the garden and the took walks together. But being in very nature toddlers, we (as humans) wanted what we were not allowed and ate the fruit. So now God's got to remove these imperfect humans from his perfect garden. So he does. Problem is that now God can't take those walks with us because we're outside that garden.
God makes a way though. He provides this ancient sacrifice system. When they sin they must make a sacrifice to pay for their wrongdoing. The penalty for sins (in God's perfect eyes) is death. (Sin: making the wrong choice, putting us further and further from him and his perfect garden and the relationship we could have together). This is how they existed, for well over 2000 years, sin - sacrifice, start again. This sacrifice brings us back to this opportunity to have the relationship with God again.
But it's an imperfect system because it has to be done over and over and over for every single person.
So God sets forth the perfect way by sending his Son Jesus. Jesus Christ comes to earth, grows up in earth, lives on earth in a human capacity with lowly origins (the son of a craftsman, not a king). But he's God. And he's a man. Again - hard human concept. I like to think of it like this: You can be a mother, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a grandmother, a nanny --- it doesn't mean you're different people, it just means you can be any and all of those at any one time.
Jesus Christ was the sacrifice for the sins of everyone. Ever. He died on a cross, having done nothing wrong [he lived a sinless life], and his death makes the way for us to be back in that garden relationship. Because our sins have been paid for we can know God in that walk-in-the-garden way again. Jesus made a one-time-sacrifice. It never has to happen again.
The only prerequisite for Jesus sacrifice for you is this: You have to accept it. If I give you a present, but you never open in, it's yours and it's not. Same thing with Jesus Christ's sacrifice - if you don't accept it, then you haven't actually opened the gift that's been given to you.
And the reason we celebrate Resurrection Sunday/Easter is because Jesus Christ was raised to live - he came back to life after 3 days in the grave. Instead of worshipping someone who is dead and cannot do anything for us, we serve and believe in Jesus Christ who gave up his life for us, but was raised back to live. He is a living God. Not a "once upon a time" God.
All this, to tell you that my Facebook status said,
"Without the resurrection of Christ, we are simply another religion with a dead prophet. Instead we have a risen Savior who conquers death."
So I'll leave you with that to mull over. I'd love to hear from you if any of that doesn't make sense or if you have more questions. I can't promise it's easy to understand... I wrote it laying on my sewing room floor while I ignored my housework...