Letter: The importance of Easter
At Easter, Christians celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection, something that’s hard for some to understand. With acknowledgment to Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, note that Exodus 34:6-7 says that God “maintains love to thousands, and forgives wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.” That is a seeming contradiction. Easter provides the amazing resolution of God’s loving forgiveness and yet perfect justice.
With his death on the cross, Jesus took the punishment of the guilty while allowing for complete forgiveness. That forgiveness was supremely costly. You and I don’t deserve it. If we make out that God will forgive us and we don’t have to worry about eternal separation from him because we “try hard” or “the good we’ve done outweighs the bad” then we make a mockery of the actual cost to God of what he’s done. We can only “accept” God’s forgiveness by agreeing with its reality and cost that only Jesus as our life-changing Lord and king has given. Assuming we are good enough and not turning to him, is a fatal error: the error of making up our own god and minimizing the true God.
One more fatal error for those who do want to follow this Jesus is to not realize how free and full his forgiveness is. If we don’t fully and completely accept his offer, we can also go through life trying to “be good enough,” to do enough good deeds, to pray enough, and on and on in a continuing attempt to earn the forgiveness already provided for free. We could never do enough to earn it, it is too costly for us.
In both cases we can only accept, believe, and thank Jesus for what he has done through what we know as Easter season.