Used with permission
In the cross we see what God has promised to do for those who believe in Jesus Christ. But what happened to Jesus will happen to all believers. He suffered, and He arose. We will suffer, and we will rise.
The cross represents our commitment to the Lord by following His example and obeying His word. There will be times when the cross will seems heavy, but most of the time we will hardly notice the burden. Jesus walked right up to the cross and took on the sins of world. We owe him everything, including our very own existence. A true disciple gladly gives up all that he has in exchange for an unending life of joy and happiness with God. The joy He offers, no sadness or loss can diminish. The cross of Christ leads to Victory and Freedom from sin and death. The cross was a real and live illustration of love. This is the true meaning of Easter!
Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter never fails us, even in the worst of times, amidst destruction, death, and despair. Easter arrives as surely as daybreak, boldly proclaiming the message of renewal and hope. The world was never and will never be the same again after the resurrection. Jesusí blood stained linen wrappings and the empty tomb ushered in a completely different era of a brave new beginning. The message of love, faith and hope still echoes across the globe, amid the devastation by earth equates, war, poverty, violence, prejudices, hatred, dehumanization, and suffering through this we must realize that without God, everything becomes impossible. Easter declares: "With God, everything becomes possible."
This means hope to our world; hope transcends our limitations and triumphs over our worst fears. Easter symbolizes the kind of tragic optimism that cannot be crushed by all the forces of darkness including death.
Jesus explains to us why itís so important to follow him. Nothing is more important to God than our eternal soul, neither riches nor pleasure nor intellectual pride. If we arenít willing to deny ourselves, we are not true followers of Christ. Nothing should be more important to us than God. Jesus knows that no human being is qualified to follow Him until they have first died to this old life. Jesus knows that mankind cannot live until they have died and been raised to life again. Jesus therefore bids us to die to self right away, so that He may raise us from the dead by His Indwelling Spirit and place us immediately upon the correct path.
In Jesus, mankind was able to see goodness and love demonstrated even toward those who persecuted Him. Sin was overcome through a love that gave all. This is the meaning and the message of the cross, the message we too are to take to our world.
Jesus did not come to merely tell us how to live, or even to merely show us how to live. He came to be our Life. Jesus allowed people to see what God is like. He not only taught truth, He lived it.
As Christians we should be driven by our love for Jesus Christ to get involved in the lives of others. This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross. Anytime a believer suffers in order to obey and serve God, he is losing his life that he may gain it. Jesus says in St. John 11:25-26, ďI am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though He were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.Ē