Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Crucifixion and resurrection

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

Luke 24:1-7

It is the greatest event in world history and beyond! The resurrection of the dead is the most vital part for believers. If Jesus had not risen from the dead after having sacrificed Himself on the cross, salvation would not have been possible. But, salvation would also not have been possible if God did not want the Gospel and there would have been no way of even believing in the forgiveness of sin (John 3:16). God was not obligated thereto – on the contrary! Nevertheless (or precisely for this reason) what Paul says would then be applicable (1 Corinthians 15:32) “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.” (Isaiah 22:13) All faith and all effort would be in vain without the empty tomb of Jesus Christ! But, blessed be God, the Son of the Most High has cast off the shackles of death and is alive – Yesterday, today and for all eternity! These days we celebrate the so-called “Easter Festival”. The name “Easter” can however not be of God, because it is of pagan, ancient Germanic origin. The Easter festival was celebrated in all cultures long before the turn of the century. Indeed, as the spring festival. The name Easter probably originates from the Germanic light- and spring goddess Ēostre or Ostara. The goddess Ostara was particularly admired in the cold Nordic regions, as she revived life anew after the cold, hard winters. Particularly noteworthy is that “Ostera” had a “holy hare” as companion. It was an early symbol of fertility, but also served as a messenger between the gods. The hare was also considered holy to the Roman goddess Aprhodite (goddess of love) as it served her, as a nimble messenger.

To honor her (if one could call it “honor”) eggs are dyed and gifted. This custom is also found in reports concerning ancient Egypt, Persia, Greece and the pre-Christian Rome. The egg has always been a powerful symbol of life, fertility and new beginnings. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection celebration in the Biblical sense. It was purely the seasonal circumstances which led the Church to link the resurrection to the re-awakening of spring and fertility. Therefore it is today erroneously called Easter celebration instead of Resurrection celebration and maybe for some also Easter bunny (hare) instead of Lamb of God!? The decisive factor is not the seasonal time of year, but the event! It is not the format which is crucial, but the (biblical) contents. Jesus is alive and whomever believes in HIM will also be resurrected and live eternally. In principle, the entire year is a time of resurrection celebration and acknowledgement of the “awakened or born again life” for children of God. Jesus lives, the grave could not contain Him – and that is all that counts for all called children of God. We experience the awakening every time we awaken after sleeping and realize that we are in the true sense of the word “alive” and are awake and that God's grace is new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). It was God's will to give us salvation through His Son, our Saviour. If we want to believe in this, and come to repentance, our grave will also be empty one day. Wherever God sees a believing heart, through His goodness, He also leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). We, the believers, are destined to eternal life in glory. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ prepared the way for us. The LORD has truly risen – Hallelujah!

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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