Why is Easter weekend such a big deal?
I’ve mentioned before that reading through the Bible each year makes Christmas more and more special. This year my trip through the first five books of the Bible along with the book of John has made Easter more special than ever before!
Let me set up the story for you. The Israelites have been freed from their slavery in Egypt and have made the long journey (made long by their sin) from Egypt to the promised land. God gave Moses some new guidelines that he passes on to the people.
When they were on their super long road trip, they lived all squished together. God’s presence dwelt with them as a pillar of fire or a cloud and then took up residence in the tabernacle. Because they were about to move into a much larger place, they weren’t going to be as close to God’s earthly dwelling as they had been on their road trip. Here’s what Moses said:
“But you shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.” Deuteronomy 12:5-7
Moses gave them new guidelines on how to live and to make their sacrifices so that they could continue to be acceptable before God and continue to have fellowship with Him. This was all part of the temporary solution between the fall of man and the coming of Jesus.
When God created Adam and Eve, they had perfect fellowship with God. He walked with them. We know that sin broke that fellowship, and the rest of the Bible is the story of God’s pursuit of that fellowship with man once again.
Easter is the celebration of the permanent earthly solution to this problem. Hebrews 4:14-16 says:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
This is so awesome! We don’t have to travel to a specified place or make sacrifices in order to be right with God! Not only that, we can find immediate mercy and grace when we pray. Why is our situation different than the situation of God’s own chosen people back in Deuteronomy? Because of Easter.
On the same day my Bible reading plan covered the new guidelines in Deuteronomy, it covered these verses where Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3
Isn’t that amazing? Here’s how it looks on the timeline:
- Living in the Garden of Eden – perfection.
- Living in the promised land – pretty great, but not perfect. Lots of laws and guidelines.
- Jesus lived, died, and rose again to repair the broken fellowship.
- Living now – a life full of mercy and grace, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us!
- Living in heaven – perfection.
Jesus came to this earth, died, and rose again. That is the Easter message. Because of that, we can have a personal relationship with God and the promise of a future where we’ll be together with Him.
I love what Tara Leigh Cobble says in The Bible Recap: “Remembering the resurrection and looking forward to His return keeps us humble, grateful, and joyful.”
That is why Easter is a big deal! Let’s celebrate!