“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:6 ESV

I helped my sister stuff 1,500 eggs with candy and prizes for an egg hunt today. She and I have spent hours buying party decorations, cleaning, cooking and setting the table for a large gathering of friends and family. I’m eager to celebrate the day. What I am most eager to celebrate however, is my eternal salvation that Jesus bought for me when he died on the cross. That is what Easter is really about. Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we get salvation. What an enormous gift he gave to us!

As we celebrate the day with family and friends, dressed in our Easter finery, let us remember the death that Jesus suffered before the resurrection. “There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.” (John 19:18) Can you imagine what it felt like when they drove the nails through his hands and feet?

Let us remember the words found in Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Jesus suffered terrible pain for us.

He also suffered emotional pain. “At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46) Can you imagine the utter terror and despair he felt when he had that moment apart from God as our sins were washed away?

There is one event of the crucifiction that amazes me. Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) I am astonished at his grace and holiness. Even facing a monstrous death, Jesus was about love and compassion.

Let us remember that today we celebrate the victory Jesus gave us over sin and death. We are washed clean by his blood. We are made new in his name. I am living proof of that. I was a sinner and an alcoholic. I was born again and made new when I gave my life to Jesus. I was forgiven because he died nailed to a cross on a hill called Calvary. I have eternal life because I believe in him. I am celebrating Easter today with a very grateful heart and soul. Thank you, Jesus!

F.R.O.G. Practice: Give thanks today for the salvation Jesus bought you on the cross. You are redeemed. You are eternal.