“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”1
Easter is one of my two favorite holidays. It is the day that we, together with all Christianity celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, we believe that every person who has ever lived, because when Jesus rose from the dead, He triumphed over the physical death that was brought upon the world through Adam’s transgression, for all mankind, regardless of who they are.2 The resurrection is the literal reuniting of our soul with our physical body, rendered immortal. As Job said, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”3
The part of Easter that is so important for believers in Christ actually began several days before Easter Sunday, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, knowing what was to come, withdrew to a solitary place, asking his closest friends to wait for him and to keep watch. There, he took upon himself the weight of the sins of the people of the world. The physical and spiritual pain that He alone could bear was so great that the scriptures say that he “bled from every pore”.4 And after he had finished praying, he went out and found that his friends had fallen asleep and that he had been betrayed by one of his own disciples into the hands of those who wished him no good.
Still bearing the weight of the world’s sins, mocked, derided, and whipped, a thorn crown pushed onto his head he was dragged from one illegal “kangaroo court” to another, until he was condemned to die on the cross by the same people he had come to save. And there, in the midst of thieves, he completed His atonement, for all those who would accept the gift of his sacrifice, with the words, “It is finished”.5
“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”6
21 Corinthians 15:21-24
The painting in the upper left corner: The Crucifixion of Christ, by Harry Anderson
The statue on the Right: The Christus, by Thorvaldsen