It is Easter week and many people around the world are going to be celebrating this week but what does it mean? Is Easter a celebration of spring and bunnies and dyeing Easter eggs and baskets of Easter candy and Easter egg hunts and the Easter Bunny? Is Easter a time of family gatherings where small gifts and candy are given to little children on Easter morning left by the elusive Easter Bunny? Many in the world celebrate Easter with such things but that is not the real reason for Easter. The true meaning of Easter week is to honor the memory of a horrific and yet beautiful week when God’s Son Jesus Christ was put on trial and found guilty enough by man’s standard to be put to death on a Roman cross. Thankfully that is not the ending of the Easter story because Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead three days later, the first to be victorious over death and that is why we Christians have hope. But there is more to this story of who Jesus is. Take a look at who Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is and what He can do.
But Yeshua answered and said to them: “Timeless truth I tell you: The Son cannot do anything of his own will, but the thing that he sees The Father is doing; for those things that The Father does, these also The Son does like him. For The Father loves his Son and he shows him everything he does; greater deeds than these He will show him, that you may be astonished. For just as The Father raises the dead and gives them life, thus also The Son gives life to them whom he will. For it is not The Father who judges a man, but he has given all judgment to The Son That everyone should honor The Son as one honors The Father. He who does not honor The Son is not honoring The Father who sent him.
Timeless truth I speak to you: “Whoever hears my word and trusts in him who has sent me has the eternal Life, and he comes not into judgment, but he moves from death into Life.
Timeless truth I speak to you: The hour is coming, it is even now, when the dead shall hear the voice of The Son of God, and they who hear shall live. For just as The Father has The Life in himself, so he has given also to The Son to have The Life in himself. And he has given him authority to also do judgment because he is The Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in the graves shall hear his voice, And they shall come out: those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil deeds, to the resurrection of judgment.
I cannot do anything of my own will, but according to that which I have heard, I judge, and my judgment is just, for I am not seeking my will, but the will of him who has sent Me. John 5:19-30, (Aramaic Bible In Plain English).
Jesus or Yeshua the Aramaic name for Jesus, describes pretty well His relationship to God His Father and the duties He is given by God. Notice that Jesus can’t do anything on His own but can only do the will of God. They are so close and have a wonderful relationship working together but Jesus only does the things God desires to be done. Since Father God can raise the dead and bring them back to life so can Jesus. We also learn in this passage that God no longer judges people’s hearts and motives but has given that task to Jesus His Son. Jesus will judge the living and the dead and determine whether they love God or don’t love God. Jesus will determine whether a person honor’s God or doesn’t honor God. Jesus will be the one who decides who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Jesus has been given this authority by God. Notice, however, that one condition for going to heaven is that a person not only honors God but also honors Jesus. If you say that you love God but do not love Jesus then you will not be in heaven. God has put this condition into action that we are to love and know and honor Jesus just as we love and know and honor God. Our reward for loving Jesus as we do God is that we won’t be judged but will be given eternal life! I love that, don’t you?
A time is coming when all the dead will rise from the dust of this earth and when that time comes Jesus will be the one raising them up. There is a purpose for the human to be brought back to life and that purpose is to judge who goes to their eternal reward of heaven and who goes to their eternal punishment in hell. Notice one important fact here. Jesus will be the one judging but Jesus can’t do anything that God has not ordained to happen. Jesus clearly states that He can do nothing without God’s permission. He only does the will of His Father. So who is Jesus? He is a faithful Son of God, He is powerful and will judge fairly and righteously because God has given Him that task to complete. There is much we can learn from this relationship between God and Jesus. We can see that Jesus is a servant to His Father God. We can see that God has given much power to Jesus. We can see that God trusts Jesus and Jesus trusts God. We can see that there is a loving relationship between Father and Son. We can see how we are to respond to Jesus and to God with honor, love, trust, and the hope of salvation from judgement.
Search the scriptures, for in them you hope that you have eternal life, and they testify concerning Me, And you are not willing to come to me that eternal life may be yours. I do not receive glory from the children of men. But I know you, that the love of God is not in you. I have come in The Name of my Father and you do not receive me, and if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, who are accepting glory one from another, and you are not seeking the glory of The One God? Do you think that I am accusing you before The Father? There is one who accuses you: Moses, the one in whom you hope. For if you had trusted Moses, you would also trust me, for he wrote about Me. And if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” John 5:39-47, (Aramaic Bible In Plain English).
My daughter asked me once why I speak more about God than I do Jesus. Here is the reason. While I love God and Jesus both with all my heart I also understand that in serving Jesus I am serving God. In honoring God I also honor Jesus. As you can see Jesus does not accept glory because all glory belongs to God. God is the ultimate authority in everything but God gave much of His authority to Jesus. I will be judged not on what Jesus thinks of me but on what God thinks of me because Jesus will use the criteria set forth by God to judge me and you. Jesus is my Savior and I hope He is your Savior too. Jesus can do nothing except that God gave Him the authority to do it. I can do nothing without Christ and the strength I have to live each day as I ought to live it comes from God but it is given to me through Jesus. It is Jesus who saves me and so I am eternally thankful to Jesus and will serve Him all my days on earth and into eternity. To me both God and Jesus are very important but I know that Jesus honor’s His Father and I do also.
Easter is the story of Jesus but it is also the story of God’s love for His only Son. While it is fun to dye eggs the colors of spring and it is wonderful to have a family gathering I never forget the true reason for this week of celebration. Jesus was put to death by people who said they loved God, but they really only loved rules and regulations and power and self. Had they really and truly loved God they would have seen Jesus for who He really is. I hope you see Jesus too.