Easter was this week. And in thinking about this event and it’s significance, and it occured to me that what we celebrate at Easter is that a man’s death and resurrection. I mean it’s cool that he resurrected, but why are we celebrating that he died in the first place?
Why couldn’t God just forgive our sins without all of the gory stuff?
I'll try to answer that, and show why Easter is so important.
Why did he have to die?
The bible tells us repeatedly, across both old and new testaments, that Christ died to take away our sins. As it says in 1 John 3:5
"But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins."
And in many other verses of scripture. In his death, our sins we’re taken away, and atoned for.
Why couldn’t God forgive us some other way?
To answer that, we have to go back to the beginning.
In Genesis, God tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as doing so will lead to their death. But we all know how that story ends, they disobey and are kicked out of the garden, and through their sin death comes into the world.
Death then, is a natural consequence of sin. And the bible also says so clearly in Romans 6:23
"For the wages of sin is death"
and James 1:15
"…sin, when full-grown, gives birth to death."
So when Jesus Christ came into the world and took our sins on himself, he died. Jesus, in taking our place and our sin, had sin run its full course on him.
After dying, he descended to the grave as the scriptures say, but he didn't stay dead and he rose again. And his resurrection is just as significant, because it proves that our sins have been forgiven, and we've been put in right standing with God. Which means, among other things, that we have access to God and the privilege to be called children of God.
And that's always worth celebrating.