Every Easter mankind is faced with the same choice, believe Jesus is the world’s Savior or don’t believe it. Historically, people have chosen not to—starting in Jesus’ own lifetime.
For example, one day the religious leaders were upset with Jesus and wanted to stone Him. Here is what happened near the end of that confrontation:
“Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”1
So what’s the big deal if Jesus “claimed” to be God? Lots of people claim that today and we don’t stone them. But we see this same claim challenged again just before Jesus was killed. In the book of Mark we read,
“Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!””2
Die? For claiming to be God? Why would they do that? The answer is simple and, ironically, given by one of their own religious leaders.
A man named Nicodemus, a notable religious leader, secretly visited Jesus one night. Nicodemus opened their conversation with, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”3
That was the problem! No one had done what Jesus did—giving sight to the blind, healing the lame, raising the dead. Jesus couldn’t be brushed aside as some nutcase, because, even though there was no internet or NY Times, everyone had heard of what He was doing. And only God could do what Jesus was doing.
So the leaders, and all the people, had a choice: believe or don’t believe. Jesus’ crucifixion proclaims their choice. And they thought they were done with Him. But God had one more surprise up His sleeve. God would prove once and for all who Jesus was by raising Him from the grave. After He rose, hundreds saw Him at different times, but to this day, people prefer to choose not to believe. And God lets them.
However to those who believe, God has promised not only eternal life in Heaven, but the power to deal with this world’s hurts and trials (like parental divorce) while we’re here.
The question is, what will your choice be? Believe or don’t believe. I pray you will choose the former. Click here for more information on how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and make this your best Easter celebration ever!
1John 10:32-33, NLT
2Mark 14:61-64, NLT
3John 3:2, NKJV
Jesus and Nicodemus image from mdcincy.org