A man was walking down a street when he noticed in a store window a beautiful painting of the crucifixion of Jesus. He stood there gazing at the picture for the longest time, and then he realized that a little boy was standing beside him. He patted the little boy on the head and said, “Son, what does that mean?” The little boy said, “Don’t ya know? That there man is Jesus, an’ the woman that’s crying is His mother, an’ them others are Roman soldiers. They killed Him.”
The man smiled and then started walking on his way down the street. In a few moments he heard someone running up behind him. He turned and saw that it was the little boy from in front of the window. He came running up to the man, out of breath, and said, “And mister, I forgot to tell ya, He didn’t stay dead.”
Today is a special day for all Christians. It is Easter. It is the day that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Today we celebrate because of an empty tomb. We celebrate because Jesus didn’t stay dead. In fact, He is very much alive.
Sure, Christmas is important, that is the birth of this whole story. And Palm Sunday is important, because that is when Jesus entered into the city, destined to fulfill prophecy and become the atoning sacrifice once and for all. And who can rule out Good Friday? Without Jesus’ death on the cross, our sins would not be forgiven, there would be no good news to share, and there would be no need to celebrate what we celebrate this day.
But, after Jesus was crucified, and buried in the tomb, three days later the women went to the place they had buried Jesus. And in Matthew 28:5-6 we read, “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.””
Of all the religious holidays, Easter is by far, the most significant. Because on this day, God’s plan that began all the way back in the beginning, finally comes full circles, as Jesus fulfills the final component, defeating death, and rising from the grave. All other religions worship leaders and gods who have died, and stayed dead. But Christianity is different. We serve a risen Savior. He did die. He was buried. But He didn’t stay dead!