I'D RATHER HAVE JESUS THAN A CHOCOLATE EASTER BUNNY
By Marsha West
April 8, 2007
Easter congers images of Easter egg hunts, decorative baskets filled with all sorts of goodies, cool new clothes, church services, families and friends gathering together for a feast. It's all about�.what? Is the reason we observe Easter Sunday to celebrate the coming of the Easter Bunny? To usher in springtime? Or is it an excuse for a parade?
None of the above. The significance of Easter is to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One thing's for sure. Non-Christians have managed to secularize Easter, just like every other religious observance. Liberals have us bowing to a chocolate bunny!
For Christians who may not have noticed, Easter isn't about Jesus anymore; it's about binging on sweets! There's nothing wrong with Easter festivities per se; but the reason to celebrate is Christ's triumph over death. Two thousand years ago the Son of God went to a bloody death to atone for the sins of humankind. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
The Son of God condescended to take on human form and came to Earth to die, not because He had some sort of social or political agenda that was heavy on His heart. He came to set the captives free. We all sin on occasion, and there are those who sin like there's no tomorrow. No matter, Jesus died for all sinners.
Why would the Son of God willing come to Earth to die for sinners? The Bible says God's hates sin � yet He has gone to great lengths to save sinners! Pastor and author, John MacArthur Jr., explains it this way,
"When we say God hates sin and doesn't hate the sinner, you're really drawing a fine line. God looked on all His creation and said that it was good, so that basically what God created He adores, He considers the work of His hand, and man, though the image of God is marred is none the less made in the image of God. So, the New Testament says God loves the world, God loves all men. It even says that we are to do good unto all men especially of the household of faith, so we are to do good to all men for they are made in the image of God. There is a sense in which no matter what we do in our lives, God still loves what we are as the expression of His creation. But He hates the sin."
What people fail to grasp is that God is also holy. A holy God is repelled by evil. All sin is evil. Including a "white lie." Washing away our sin (cleaning us up) is the sole purpose for Jesus dying on the cross. As I said, He died for one and all, and that includes sleaze bags that some people think aren't worth a plug nickel.
My point is, anybody who's willing to admit they're a sinner and truly BELIEVES that Jesus shed His blood for their sins, is saved from eternal damnation. Yes, Jesus died for the worst of the worst, the scum of the earth, the reprobate, the smelly homeless person, the ugly girl in your math class, Bashful, Dopey, Doc and, yes, even Grumpy. Which means that if an outlaw like Billy the Kid accepts Christ as his Lord and Savior, the outlaw's sins are forgiven. When his sins are washed away by Christ's shed blood, he's no longer an outlaw; he's a child of God. Moreover, God's kids are granted a permanent address on Redeemed Avenue in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Christ's death on the cross is God's way of saving humans from spending eternity in hell. Every person who has drawn a breath on this planet is destined for hell. And hell is a real place. How do I know that? Because Jesus said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (Matthew 5:29). Further, He said, "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matthew 23:33). Sounds like Christ's words were not just hyperbole! If hell doesn't exist, He wouldn't have threatened anyone with it.
But never fear! There's a way to avoid going there. The Apostle Paul tells us what to do. He says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). Paul's words may not go over well with some people, because they believe they know better than God who should enter the Highway to Heaven or go to the Pit of Hell. The thing is, the Bible makes it crystal clear that God is the One who will ultimately decide who goes up�aand who goes down. The "why" is a three-letter word: S-i-n. The unrepentant sinner is a stench in the nostrils of a holy God.
There are those who believe that good people will go to heaven. Au contraire! By God's standard of "good" the Bible says a person's good deeds are like "filthy rags." No Good person, no good Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Mormon will see the Kingdom of Heaven. Why? Because good people don't go to Heaven. Jesus made that abundantly clear when he said these words: "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). No matter how good someone seems, he or she could never be "good enough" to stand in the presence of Holiness.
For the "me" generation, finding themselves in hell will probably come as a huge shock. After all, they think God created the sun to light up their lives. Hell isn't a real place anyway, they say, so why should anyone worry about going there? And if there is a hell, only murders, rapists, pedophiles and Scott Peterson will be sent there. It's indeed true that unrepentant murders will go to hell, and anyone else who rejects Christ will spend eternity "where the worm never turns."
For those who want to go to Heaven, but are indifferent about Jesus Christ, keep in mind that Jesus is Heaven's CEO (Chief Executive Over-all). If a person has no interest in getting to know Jesus Christ while residing here on Earth, his or her feelings sure won't change in Heaven. Furthermore, if a person hates Jesus, why would he or she have any interest in worshiping Him - for all eternity?
For all you "Christians" who are embarrassed, or too proud, to bend a knee to the Savior of the World, or to sing praises to Him in church, you should consider doing an attitude evaluation. Scripture tells us that those who enter Heaven will enter His gates filled with joy and thanksgiving, singing praises to the God they love. Singing your heart out to God is one of the things God's people do. We sing because we're happy!
� 2007 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved
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Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com, Alainsnewsletter.com, CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.com, plus her commentaries appear in MichNews.com and bibleteacher.org.
is also designer and webmaster of a Christian apologetics website, On
Solid Rock Resources. She is currently writing a series of children's
books for homeschoolers. Marsha and her husband reside in historic Jacksonville
For Christians who may not have noticed, Easter isn't about Jesus anymore; it's about binging on sweets! There's nothing wrong with Easter festivities per se; but the reason to celebrate is Christ's triumph over death.