There are many things to look forward to in the spring, and one of them is Easter. In mainstream, American culture, Easter’s all about rebirth, transitioning from the frigid cold of winter to the restoring warmth of spring and of course, chocolate. For Christians, however, Easter is a time of celebration. Christians celebrate redemption, Christ’s resurrection and new life. We celebrate that we no longer live “Under the law” but “Under grace.” This is true, but Jesus’ role in The Law is more heartfelt than it’s often taught.
If you grew up in church, you’ve probably been taught that The Law (Old Testament, sacrifices, social rules, worship etiquette, etc.) was meant to bridge the gap between sinful man and God, and that Jesus’ sacrifice bridged that gap once and for all. This is true, but there’s a deeper level to the purpose of The Law than just sacrifice. God says in Hosea 6:6, ”For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Then again, in Matthew 9:13, Jesus teaches, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” So, the purpose of The Law was not just to bridge the gap between sinful man and our Holy God, but that through a lifestyle and religious practices, hearts would be aligned with God’s heart.
If The Law had been only about sacrifice, God would accept anything that was given to Him, as long as it followed the rules and regulations of The Law. Instead, He consistently reminds Israel that He’s more concerned with the heart of the one offering the sacrifice than the sacrifice itself. Jesus says in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus was a sacrifice for all of sinful humankind, and furthermore, He changes hearts. He completely fulfills The Law. The heart of Easter is about redemption, and so is Jesus.
Maybe Easter isn’t enjoyable for you. You have to get dressed up in stiff clothes, sit through a boring service, it’s not always warm and you have to see extended family that you’re not fond of. If it wasn’t for the chocolate, this whole holiday may feel like a bust. We encourage you to spend time reading through the book of John in preparation for Easter. Ask Jesus to show you how He has changed your heart, and what else needs to be changed.
Perhaps you love Easter, but enjoy it for the flowers, chocolates and sundresses. We encourage you to focus on the Jesus’ parables and read all the incredible miracles He produced during this season. Reading these stories and examples to prepare your heart for Easter will help you see Christ in a new light, opening up your mind to experience His sacrifice as a personal connection to your life.
It may be that Easter is one of your favorite times of year because of how Jesus overcame death on the cross, but you desire to dig deeper. If this is the case, we encourage you to ask the Lord who in your life needs more of Him. Seek out that person and share your story with them. Tell them how God has made an impact on your life and how you want Him to do the same for them. Ask them to talk about faith with you and ask you some deeper questions about who God is and why Jesus is relevant. Opening yourself up to another person will provide incredible opportunity for you to understand the Lord more as you trust in Him to provide you with the right answer.
Spending time with Jesus in anticipation for Easter makes the holiday more meaningful. Tweet to us @niNeMag with your Easter revelations! We would love to connect with you!