Think of the great inventions, discoveries and developments in the history of mankind – the discovery of fire, the creation of the wheel, the printing press and penicillin.

Now think about the events that have transpired just during our lifetimes – television, jet and space travel, a moon landing and digital communication.

Then consider that all of them, all of them, shrink in importance compared to what happened Easter Sunday. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most significant event in the history of humanity, and its effects will be felt into eternity.

The resurrection demonstrated that Jesus was who he claimed to be, the Son of God (John 10:30), and it also showed His victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:55). The sin and brokenness that has infected our world since the time of Adam and Eve has been overcome, and because of it Jesus has opened the door to heaven for all believers (John 11:25). Without the resurrection, without what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, we would still be dead in our sins and separated from God (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

All of us have experience with the death of a loved one, and we know full well the grief and sorrow that accompany such loss. We can be overwhelmed with the thought that we will never see our loved one again. But the resurrection shows us that Jesus has conquered death, and in Him we have hope of a new life in heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Grief and sorrow last only for a time, as we focus on the hope and joy that Jesus offers (1 Peter 1:3).

Through His resurrection, Jesus has reconciled us to God. We are by nature sinful people because of the sin we have inherited from Adam and Eve. Thus, we are born as enemies of God, slaves to sin and the flesh, choosing a path of rebellion and disobedience (Romans 5:10). Through the resurrection, we are made children of God, adopted into his family through the grace of Christ (Ephesians 1:5). As His adopted children, we have all the rights and privileges of any child, including an inheritance. In this case, we are now inheritors of the promises of God, including eternal life (Romans 8:17).

It’s a common misconception that all people are God’s children. “We’re all God’s children,” you hear people often say. While it is true that we are all God’s creation, only those who come to faith in Jesus can rightfully be called God’s children. It is a right and privilege that comes only to those who accept and receive Jesus (John 1:12). But by receiving Christ, acknowledging His resurrection and submitting to His claim on our lives, we can be called God’s own children (1 John 3:1-2).

All of this comes only through Jesus. We sometimes believe that we can accomplish our own salvation. That is, we can work our way into heaven by praying harder, going to church more, or doing more good deeds. All of these things are good and we should be doing them, but they do not save us. Salvation comes only through the incredible gift of God’s grace and mercy in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Our only role in the salvation process is to accept this free gift and commit our lives to Jesus. As you contemplate the empty tomb on this Easter weekend, consider all that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, and if you have not done so yet, hold out your hand and accept what God offers through His Son.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know.

Pastor Brad Schultz, Zion Evangelical Church, bschultz27@gmail.com