Joe and I pray that you all had a wonderful Easter. Easters comes and goes, but the resurrection power and the blood that Jesus shed on the cross remains true year after year, and day after day. These gifts never lose their power.
I grew up in a Hutterite Colony and I remember that Easter was a fearful time. Every year we confessed our sins to the preacher on Easter. Everyone made an effort to live holy the month before Easter. We tried to clean up our lives and shorten the list of sins that needed confession. I realize now that my efforts to clean up my life were in vain. Only Jesus can redeem us from our sin. Confessing our sins to a mere man didn't cover our sin or cleanse us. Religion made Easter a fearful time. We were deceived into thinking that we could cover our sin with our own good works.
In the Old Testament we read about the priests who shed the blood of lambs cover the sin of the people for a year. But the Lamb didn't cover sin beyond one year. The priest eventually died so he could not continually kill a lamb for the sins of the people. This same reality is true today when we rely on a mere man to forgive our sin.
Hebrews explains that another type of lamb is needed. We need a lamb that was pure and a lamb that is able to be a sacrifice for us forever. This lamb is Jesus.
Only the work that Jesus did on the cross and His Father's resurrection power can save us from our sin and death. No religion, no man, no church and no work can purchase what Jesus gives us freely.
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:11-15
Praise the Lord! We don't have to depend on our works. We can lean on the precious blood shed by our Lord and Savior on the cross. We rejoice with Paul in the redemption Christ Jesus provides for us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. Ephesians 1:3-10
Christ Jesus covers us with His Blood if we accept His gift. There is no more need to fear Easter. There is no need to bind ourselves up in the religions of man. We are redeemed through His sacrifice on the cross, we are cleansed with His blood and we are resurrected in Him by the power of our Heavenly Father. Why take your sins to a mere man? I take my sins to our Resurrecting Father in Heaven. He is able to forgive and clean me completely.