There are many religions in our world. Many of them have some common features. They all have holy people, holy books, holy days, and holy practices. But Christianity is unique. Unique means "one and only," "without like or equal." Many of the major religions have built monuments over the graves of their founders or chief prophets.
Christianity is different. Jesus died and was buried in a tomb outside the city of Jerusalem. There is no elegant construction nor expensive ornaments. The characteristic of this grave is that it is open and empty. The grave stands open for the world to see that Jesus is alive. He was only there for a very short time.
God came in the flesh to die and to become alive again. That is the true meaning of Easter. We remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is because Jesus is alive that we can be alive in Him.
Because of His resurrection, our faith brings us salvation through His grace. Our sins are forgiven and we don't want to sin anymore. The resurrection confirms the whole message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus became a man so that we might become sons of God. He left all of the glories He had always had in heaven and subjected Himself to earthly limitations.
For us to understand why God became man we have to understand the sinful condition of humanity. God knew that we could be rescued, but only if He sent His Son to die.
Paul said, "For the love of Christ constraineth me," 2 Corinthians 5:14. Paul was not motivated by any force other than the love of Christ. Paul had been fighting against Christians and against Christ. Paul met Jesus one day on the Damascus Road. He had papers in his hand giving him authority to arrest Christians. Paul met Jesus and discovered that in spite of all that Paul had done Jesus still loved him.
It is the love of Jesus for us that sent Him to die for us. Jesus took our place on the cross so that we would not have to experience the eternal death that sin brings. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17. The new creation that Jesus makes is a person with the ability to live victoriously.
We have our redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. Redemption means "to get or buy back." Christ made us. Satan trapped us and took us captive. Then Jesus came and bought us back.
In the Old Testament animal sacrifices were required in order to find forgiveness, because "without shedding of blood is no remission," Hebrews 9:22. But those sacrifices could not take away sin. Jesus became the fulfillment of all the sacrifices that came before Him. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that put an end to the need of all those sacrifices.
Willie Lee Schmitz leads the Church of God in Derma.