Life Written. · The Word

Easter is for real.

Heaven is For Real was released on April 16. The film focuses on a family with a son that dies, goes to Heaven, and comes back. It reveals little Colton’s experiences in Heaven and testifies the proofs that Heaven is “for real,” aka legit.

I read the book in high school. It was a good, quick read. It was interesting. But I don’t know how “for real” the book-turned-movie is.

I am not a theologian by any means. I can recite the books of the Bible in order, but I cannot even find a verse that I like without pulling up BibleGateway.com.

But I have heard experts touch on Heaven is For Real and books, movies, like it:

“Since I have my Bible, which already tells me what I can know for sure about Heaven, and everything in those books I do not know for sure, I don’t credit them with infallibility, therefore it’s all guess work. I don’t find guesswork about Heaven helpful; therefore, I don’t read the books.” John Piper

Thanks, Mr. Piper. I love that. So what is real about today? What does Easter mean?

Friends, let me expose some of the Easter myths:

  1. The Easter Bunny is not real. He does not bring the eggs. Firstly, he is a rabbit, so think about that one. Secondly, he is the equivalent of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Sorry to break your hearts.
  2. As in Veggie Tales, many of us make the chocolate bunny our god on Easter. But he is a hollow, edible, instantly devoured bunny. so do you really want to obsess over him?
  3. While it has become somewhat of a Pagan holiday {see first 2 myths}, it is a very real, very spiritual, very life changing day in history. It is not just for candy, or pictures among flowers, or gifts, just like Christmas is not just about food, presents, or twinkling lights.

Then what is real about Easter? What happened? Why is it historical?

Christ, who is fully God and fully man, came back to life. Three days before, he was crucified on the cross. He took on the sins of the world. On the third day, he rose again, he awoke after 72 hours of death.

His face shone like lightning and his clothing was as white as snow (Matt 28:3, NLT).

He appeared first to Mary & Mary.

They ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshipped him (v. 9).

He made his way to the disciples, his loyal {and sometimes, like us, unloyal} followers. He delivered the Great Commission:

‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.’ (v. 19-20).

And while some of them doubted, many of them listened and believed and followed his commands. You can read about the beginnings of the new church after the Resurrection in the book of Acts.

The disciples did go, they did tell. They scattered. They witnessed. They preached. They healed. They lived by the Spirit.

And they remembered Christ’s preaching, teaching, healing, walking, when he was on earth. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. And they knew the truth in his last words:

And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ (v. 20).

Easter started long before Easter was. It started at Christmas, when approximately 30 years before the Resurrection occurred, Christ was born. God became man.

Humanity was in need of a savior and God provided one in His Son, in Himself.

Those are the truths of Easter. There are many more truths in scripture, many more accounts.

So what now? Why do we celebrate Easter today? What is its purpose?

Well, friends, we remember.

We remember the baby in the manger, who became the man bloodied on the cross, whose body rested in the tomb, whose spirit was tortured in Hell to pay the price, who was raised back to life three days later, who said “I told you so,” to his disciples*, who gave the Great Commission, who ascended into Heaven to rule at His Father’s side.

Who will be coming back one day. To make a new Heaven, a new earth.

Let that simmer. Easter is crazy. A dead man coming back to life? Crazy. A God so big and wonderful loving me? Crazy. Jesus returning to earth on a day only he knows? Crazy.

But all of that is very much for real.

Thank God for Easter. Thank God for the Resurrection. Thank God for being God.

Because if none of this was for real, if Jesus stayed dead, remained a decaying body in a tomb, then I would not have life, purpose, hope, joy, peace, not know love, not know how to love, not know anything the way I know it now.

Easter is for real.

Christ is the faithful witness… the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for usHe has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:5-6

*Christ pulled off the biggest “I told you so” in history. And that is stinking cool. Check out Luke 24:6-8 if you do not believe me.

He is Risen indeed. Be joyful!
He is Risen indeed. Be joyful!

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