How does the resurrection of Jesus impact your daily life?
We have just finished celebrating Resurrection Sunday. We had a wonderful worship time as we recalled the first resurrection…that of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. First, why do I call it Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter?
I know the term Easter is well established and has been used for this particular Sunday for many centuries. The term “Easter” has its roots in ancient polytheistic pagan religions. This term is never used in the original Scriptures, nor is it ever associated biblically with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For that reason, I prefer to use the term “Resurrection Sunday” rather than “Easter” when referring to the annual Christian remembrance of Christ’s resurrection.
Most reference books say that the name “Easter” derived from the Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of Spring. Although this relationship exists, in reality, the origin of the name and the goddess are far more ancient—going all the way back to the Tower of Babel. The origin begins not long after the biblical Flood. The flood was a divine judgment by God on all of humanity. The wickedness of man in those days pervaded throughout all people. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5).
Noah and his immediate family were the only ones to survive this judgment. Noah had an evil, but talented grandson…Nimrod. Nimrod built and organized several cities (Genesis 10:10-12). Apparently, by developing a new civilization, man was attempting to mitigate the effects of the curse apart from God.
In addition, Nimrod was heavily involved in the development of the Babylonian religious culture. After his death, his religious work continued through his wife when she deified Nimrod as the Sun-god. In later cultures, he became known as Baal, the Great Life Giver, the god of fire, Baalim, Bel, Molech, etc.
Nimrod’s wife reportedly gave birth to an illegitimate child, a son. The woman claimed that her son, Tammuz, was Nimrod reborn. Nimrod’s wife was named Ishatar –Easter–and she claimed that her son was supernaturally conceived [no human father] and that he was the promised seed, the ‘savior’”—promised by God in Genesis 3:15.
This is another example of how Satan is attempting to develop counterfeits to all of the legitimate programs of God. The paganism of the Babylonians spread throughout the world and it even continues in various forms today.
But there is one who was begotten by the Father. There is one who God sent who would satisfy God’s righteous wrath. That one is His Son, Jesus, the Christ–our Lord and Savior. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
This same Jesus is the one who sacrificed Himself for our sins even while we were sinners separated from God and deserving death (Romans 5:8).
Jesus Christ claimed He was the Messiah. But over 60 other people have done the same thing. How do we know He was not a phony or some kind of lunatic deceiving Himself?
First, the coming of Jesus was predicted. All the others who have claimed to be the Messiah just showed up. Over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament in essence say, “He’s coming and here is what He will look like.” When He came, Christ fit the description of the Messiah that had been foretold. He fulfilled these prophecies in every way.
Second, Romans 1:4 claims that Christ’s resurrection demonstrates that He is the Son of God. No other so-called or self-proclaimed “Messiah” has an empty tomb. Guess what happened to Ishatar’s (Easter’s) illegitimate son…he died and stayed dead. The grave could not hold the Son of God.
The resurrection is a pivotal point in Christian history. This central element unifies the Christian Church. Why is that resurrection so important?
Jesus Christ offers the gift of eternal life to those who will simply receive it. No one has the ability to save someone else unless he has conquered the grave himself. Jesus Christ is the only one who had an empty tomb on the third day. This is a truth no atheist has ever been able to disprove.
Our only hope is in the risen Christ. Paul made this statement:
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Corinthians 15:12–19)
Without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith would be useless and we as believers would be pitiable. But His tomb was empty and many witness saw Him. We have great cause to rejoice.
As sinners, we deserve to be separated from God forever. Because of Jesus Christ’s love for us, He became our substitute and took the punishment for our sins, died and rose again. He now extends the gift of life eternal to all who will trust Him as their personal Savior. To those who trust Him He says, “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).
There have been many false religions through history. This is Satan attempting to divert people from the one true Savior. We follow the risen Lord. Let’s not confuse this with the pagan celebration of the false Sun-god (Nimrod) and the false seed (Tammuz) born of Easter. Let’s worship the true Christ and celebrate Him each year on Resurrection Sunday.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? If the resurrection is true, place your faith in Jesus, the Christ. If the resurrection of Jesus is not true, nothing really matters.
If someone questions if Christ was who He said He was, lovingly challenge them to examine fulfilled prophecy about Christ and investigate the resurrection. And remember—one way to thank God for the empty tomb is by telling your neighbor about it!