The story of the resurrection is celebrated by almost two billion people around the world. We pause and remember what happened to our Lord when he entered Jerusalem for the final time 20 centuries ago. However, if we are not careful, the Easter story can be glossed over, and we can forget the surprise and shock of the resurrection. Let’s never forget the “aha” moment it really delivers. Re-read Mark 16:1–7 and let it surprise you again.
Sunday, I asked you to think of your life as chapters in a storybook. You have an introduction (the set up), the body (the plot) and the ending (the significance).
Chapter One: My Life – Found Guilty
All humans share the same story because we all have the same sin DNA. The crime has been committed and we are separated from God. There is an old saying that says, “We all stand equal at the foot of the cross.” Romans 3:23 says, "There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Chapter One is pretty bleak and is leading to a bad ending.
But stories don’t end at chapter one. In the grand courtroom drama – Satan stands as the accuser, with a lot of ammunition to find us guilt and worthy of the death penalty.
Chapter Two: God’s Defense – The Cross
Jesus enters the courtroom, not as a defense attorney, but as a substitute. He does not declare us innocent; he receives our punishment. He doesn’t carry a briefcase full of notes; he carries a cross. He doesn’t even cross exam the witness against us; he takes on the shame for us.
The cross is not pretty – it is painful. It is ugly and full of death. But it is at the cross where wrath and grace meet. Think of it, through the death of One Man, all the sins of the human race are fully paid for—past, present and future. When Jesus died, he took our place and suffered the penalty meant for us. He who was innocent paid the price so that we can go free. This is truly beyond human understanding.
But this chapter has two parts, and the second part contains the resurrection.
Without the Resurrection, Good Friday is simply a tragedy. Without the resurrection, Jesus is just another mad man. Without the resurrection, there is no hope in our eternal destiny.
This leads us to chapter three.
Chapter Three: The Verdict – Reconciliation, Justification and Freedom
He restored our relationship with The Father - Study Ephesians 2:14-18
We are justified - Study Romans 3:22-25
We are free - It doesn’t matter how many sins we’ve piled up in our lives. It doesn’t matter how guilty we are. It doesn’t matter how many skeletons rattle around in our closets. The death and resurrection of Jesus is God’s answer to our deepest needs.
That is what theologians mean when they talk about the "finished work" of Jesus Christ. It’s not just a slogan; it’s a profound spiritual truth. When Jesus cried out "It is finished" (John 19:30), he meant that the penalty for sin had been paid in full.