Category: Why Easter? Written by Jim Denison
After Jesus' crucifixion, his friends obtained his corpse, which they embalmed with 75 pounds of burial spices and enshrouded in strips of linen, mummifying his remains. They then placed him in Joseph's tomb. The Romans posted a guard and sealed the stone over the entrance.
Why does Jesus' death and burial matter to you today? You probably know the traditional answer: Jesus' death paid for our sins. But why did God require his Son to die before he would forgive us? You can hurt me and I can forgive you without requiring that someone die. Why was Jesus' death and burial so necessary?
It's because God is both holy and love. The Bible says that he is "holy, holy, holy." Because he is perfect and heaven is a perfect place, he cannot allow our sins into his presence. A little dirt pollutes clean water; a small malignancy can kill. When doctors visit patients in sterile hospital rooms, they must first cleanse their hands and face, then wear sterile clothing lest a single germ contaminate the room. God could not allow our sins into his perfect presence and remain perfect.
At the same time, he is love. He loves each of us, personally and passionately, more than an earthly father can love his children. He wants us to spend eternity with him. How can he bring us into his perfect presence when we are such imperfect people?
God's answer was to ask someone else to pay the debt we owed. The problem was, every person on the planet is in the same situation. The Bible says that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," and "the wages of sin is death." We all deserve to die for our sins. None of us can pay for another person's sins, because we have our own.
With one exception. The Bible says that God's only Son, Jesus Christ, was tempted in every way we are, yet without sin. He is the only sinless person who ever lived. If he would be willing to die in our place, God could confer our punishment on him so that justice is done and yet forgive us so that love wins the day. That's what happened on Good Friday. That's why Jesus' body is in the tomb on Holy Saturday. He died so we could live.
Are you grateful?