What does Easter tell us about Jesus? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Yesterday, Christians all over the world celebrated Easter, the event that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For this post, I am going to be assuming that the resurrection is true, though I will also be putting up a link to an interview I did with Gary Habermas on the topic on the Deeper Waters podcast.
The resurrection’s ultimate message is “Jesus was right.”
When you look at what he was on trial for, we find the charge of blasphemy. We find the charge of planning to destroy the temple, which would be saying God was no longer working there, we find the charge that He was the King of the Jews. The last one was in mockery, but notice that Jesus never before Pilate denied having a Kingdom and being a king. He just denied it the way Pilate understood it.
Note that these charges are either true or false. Jesus had indeed stated that the temple system was corrupt. He had pointed to His unique identity a number of times. He had made messages indicating that He was a king, although certainly not a king the way the Jewish people thought He would be.
Jesus’s desires were far grander. They wanted liberation from Rome for themselves. Jesus wanted liberation for the world from sin. They wanted to have a foreign army kicked out of their land. Jesus wanted the devil to be kicked out of the world of His Father. As C.S. Lewis said, our desires are far too small. Whatever we desire for ourselves, we should realize God desires greater, namely union with Him.
In crucifying Jesus, the rulers of the day all said Jesus’s claims were wrong. This was a serious move for them to make. If Jesus’s claims were right, there would be serious repercussions. It would mean they had crucified the Messiah of God, the king of Israel, and the Son of God. They were ready for God to come as they thought He would. They were not ready for God to come as He had planned to come.
What was their greatest proof that He was not the Messiah? He did not act the way they thought He would. Fortunately, we are past this today. We never expect God to act the way we want Him to. We never have talks about the problem of evil. We never say that a good God would do this if He existed. We never say God must act on our terms instead of us acting on His.
Could it be that in many ways, we today are still crucifying the Son of God? We can speak about the evils that the people of the time did to Jesus, but we have to stop and ask ourselves if we’re any better.
Chances are, we’re not. It’s easy to speak from hindsight, but many of us could be just as guilty of the crime if we had been there and we would have called it righteous zeal. After all, many of us know the way God will perform and the way He will act.
It is more often the case that the real truth surprises us. Hence, we should always be open to the possibility that we could be wrong about something.
The people of the time did kill the Son of God, but the resurrection is God’s vote on the matter, and that one alone counts as a majority. It is saying “Jesus was right.” Jesus is the king. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Son of God. The temple system is corrupt.
It’s like the shot heard round the world.
This was the greatest shot of all. This was the beginning of the revolution. If the creation was a symphony, this is where the crescendo to the finale begins. If it was a movie, this was where the major plot twist took place. If it was a video game you were playing, this is where you would want to save. It would be like the second quest taking place.
The resurrection changes everything.
By the resurrection, we know that Jesus is the king of this world. By the resurrection, we know that all will bow down before Him. By the resurrection, we know that He will judge us all. By the resurrection, we know that a new covenant has been declared. By the resurrection, we know evil will be dealt with. By the resurrection, we know that we will live again after we die and live forevermore.
By the resurrection, we know God is in charge of the story, and as earlier, God has greater desires for us than we can realize. If what has happened so far has been the incarnation of the Son of God in our midsts, we can only wonder at what lies around the corner and being Easter people, eagerly anticipate it.
My interview with Gary Habermas on the resurrection can be found here.