Years ago, while on a retreat with some military college students, I had the opportunity to facilitate a discussion around the reason Jesus went to the cross. Six years earlier I decided to follow Jesus and I wanted to share what I knew about Him. I was soon to learn that I knew very little and that my faith was built on emotion and a little knowledge. I knew I was not prepared to facilitate when I was asked why we focus so much on Jesus giving up His life when so many of our colleagues had selflessly given their lives for their country. The question being asked was “what was the big deal about one man’s suffering?” As the person spoke I realized that, although I had been a follower, I had no idea why the events of Easter were important. I was use to hearing about the suffering, the humility and the brutalization of Jesus and had never really asked why it was necessary.
We have been asked by Jesus to make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey God. This could mean we take up a life of full time service to God by becoming a pastor or missionary. We could also become a lay leader in our church, teach Sunday school or lead a small group outside of church. It could also mean we become a role model to our community and workplace by living our life according to God’s word. No matter what role we are called into, at a minimum, it means that as follower we must intentionally seek to know more about God by reading and studying His word and praying. Otherwise, we end up with a faith based on hearsay and warm and fuzzy feelings.
Do you know the story behind Easter? Better yet, can your share your story? Can you tell someone about your life before becoming a follower, how you became a follower and then what your life is like now? Can you link it to your acceptance of being a sinner in need of repentance and forgiveness and learning that because Jesus went to the cross, reunion with God was possible? Can you tell someone that you have been saved because God said our efforts to reconcile were futile and that He needed to make a final sacrifice that showed only He could fix what was broken in the garden.
If you have some uncertainty about the significance of the crucifixion and the resurrection speak with your pastor or a mature Christian that you know. Don’t let this Easter pass without you knowing and being able to tell Jesus’ story.