Easter truly is a celebration of new life. It is the traditional time that Christian believers acknowledge and celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most people know that Jesus died for the sins of the world, was buried in a tomb, and on the third day arose from the dead. However, much more happened that day than the world ever has realized.
Jesus was on the cross from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. At noon on that day, "darkness" came over the whole land for three hours. It was not a solar eclipse or a storm. It was a war.
All the powers of hell attacked Jesus while He was on the Cross. They seemingly won the battle when He died. However, all the same powers opposed His resurrection. Every devil in hell and all their jurisdictions stood on that great stone. All of the natural world and everything that Adam had relinquished by his apostasy were marshaled against the Son of God. Like a man covered with hornets from head to toe, Jesus was assailed by every rank of evil spirit from the lowest hell all the way up to, but not including, the very Throne of God.
Then the judgment came from God's Throne. Jesus was justified. Instantly there was an explosion! The Bible teaches that when Jesus was raised from the dead, there was more power released than when the natural universe was first created (Ephesians 1:19). There was a completely "new creation" birthed that day that makes the "Big Bang" look feeble by comparison.
Not only was Jesus raised from the dead, but all the Old Testament saints (Moses, David, Samuel, etc.) were instantly "caught up" like a "vertical Exodus" (Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8) from the place of the dead to paradise. Meanwhile, Jesus "stripped" off from Himself all demon power, thereby destroying its dominance over Himself and those who partake of the "new-creation." Next, He displayed this dominance by ascending and "parading" the defeated evil spirits through the heavens for all the spirit world to see, like an ancient Roman triumph parade (Colossians 2:15). On that day He inaugurated a whole new world that can never end (Ephesians 3:20). All this happened in three days.
This "New Creation" is far more powerful than the natural world around us that is slowly decaying. The first creation was marred by sin; and the law of entropy "rules" to this day. Ah, but Jesus arose from the dead and now "if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Everyone who puts faith in Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice can be "born again" into this "new creation" that is eternal.
When I say to people, "Happy Easter," I don't think of the Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs and candy. I think of my champion, the Lord Jesus Christ, conquering sin, Satan, and self to save me! I am born again! I have eternal life right now! I know both His Word and His power (Matthew 22:9). I cast out demons and lay healing hands on the sick that they may recover (Mark 16:17-18).
The tumultuous era we live in presently is seeing the old order of things come to an end where the present evil systems will be swallowed up into the victory of Christ that we celebrate now at Easter. Amen.
- Butler is the pastor at Wings of Love Community Church in Williamsport.