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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

What is Easter to you? (John 19)

Or maybe through this Holy Week leading up to Easter, there are two questions we need to ask: 1) Who is Jesus to you? and 2) What is Easter to you? The answers to those questions determine how we approach not just Easter but how we live our daily lives.

When I was growing up, Easter to me was a day that I got dressed up in my Easter dress, went to my grandparents house where we would have an Easter egg hunt, get together with family, and have a big dinner.

There was talk of the Easter bunny, Easter baskets, colored eggs, and an Easter egg hunt. That's what Easter was to me growing up. Do you see anything missing? If you would have asked me up to the age of 16, "Who is Jesus to you?" I would have had no idea how to answer that question.

If you would have asked me, "What is Easter to you?" I would have talked about an Easter egg hunt and getting together with family.

I'm so thankful that God put people in my life who took me to church, taught me about Jesus, and helped me understand who Jesus is and what Easter is.

Today I can answer both of those questions with one word: Tetelestai!!!

Jesus is the one who uttered the word "Tetelestai" from the cross as He took His last breath and gave up His spirit. Tetelestai is Greek for "It is finished."

John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished," and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

In Jesus' time, when someone owed a debt, the debt was written on parchment and nailed to a door post. When the debt was paid in full, the Greek word, "Tetelestai" was written or stamped over the debt.

But Jesus is the only One who could come and pay the debt that I owe for my sins, past, present, and future. He is the only One who could be beaten in my place, tortured in my place, nailed to a cross in my place, and die the death that I deserve for my sins. He is the only One who could be nailed to a cross and declare, "Tetelestai," meaning "my debt for all of my sins is paid in full."

Today, that is who Jesus is to me.

Easter to me is the fulfillment of the greatest prophecies ever given over all of time.

That is that sin entered the world through mankind and spread like a terminal disease through the entire human race, sentencing us all to eternal death.

No matter how much good any human being could ever do, they could never pay the debt for even one of their sins. Not Abraham, King David, not Mary, Jesus' mother, not Jesus' 12 disciples, not the Apostle Paul, not the Pope, not Billy Graham, not any of our pastors, ministers or priests, and certainly not me. No person ever born can ever do anything to pay the debt for even one of their sins, because:

Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death.

Only Jesus could come and pay the debt for my sins and your sins. Why? Because God required the death of a perfect, sinless lamb for our sins to be removed and there is no such thing.

Only Jesus who is God, is perfect.

God stepped off of His throne in heaven, took on human flesh as Jesus, was born of a virgin (fulfilling Isaiah 7:14), lived a sinless life, died on a cross (fulfilling Isaiah 53:4-12), was buried, and three days later was resurrected from the dead (fulfilling Matthew 12:38-40), paying the debt of sin for all the world who would repent and trust in His sacrifice in their place (fulfilling John 3:16).

It amazes me that God loves me and you so much to die in our place so that we can be united with Him for all eternity and escape the wrath that is to come both in this world and through eternity.

The 300 prophecies which Jesus fulfilled combined with the presence of His Holy Spirit guiding me, directing me, and making me feel complete absolutely convince me that Jesus is my Lord and my God who loves me and you enough to die in our place.

Easter reminds me that if 30 percent of the Bible is prophecy and only half of those have been fulfilled to date, the rest of them will be fulfilled just exactly as the Bible says.

That means the best is yet to come. Regardless of what this world throws at me for the rest of my life, Jesus promises me an amazing eternal life with Him.

So what about you?

Who is Jesus to you?

What is Easter to you?

What will you celebrate tomorrow with your family?

Dear Lord, I am forever grateful that you put people in my life to take me to church, to teach me about You and Your sacrifice in my place, to answer my questions about You and Your Word, and to teach me the truth in Your Word. But most of all Lord, I am forever thankful that You love even me enough to want me to know You and Your great love for everyone. Lord, I commit this day, this Easter, and the rest of my life to You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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