The message of Easter

Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist

In a few weeks, Christians all around the world will celebrate a most important holy day in the Christian faith — Easter. Easter is the central focus of Christianity.

Paul, the Apostle, said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (I.Corinthians 15:17 New International Version) See, it is as simple as that if Jesus had not been raised from the dead, then He could not be our Savior. And if Jesus is not our Savior, then we are on our way to a devil’s hell for all eternity without any hope.

When Jesus was born, He was born to die. Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, was born into this world as a baby so that the Second Person of the Godhead could take upon Himself flesh. It was necessary for Jesus to become flesh so He could die upon a cross for man’s sin. (Genesis 3) If you think about it then, Jesus was born to die. But not to die just any ordinary death. Actually there are recorded about 3,000 other Jewish deaths on a cross but His was the most important because of what His death did for God’s people.

Jesus’ death was the propitiation for man’s sin — the payment for our sin. In full. There is nothing else necessary for your sin and my sin to be forgiven because Jesus paid it all when He died on the cross at Calvary. All we have to do is accept what He did. (Romans 10:9-13) The Bible says that “whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Saved from what? Saved from the penalty of sin which is death (Romans 6:23) So then, if we ask Jesus to save us from our sins, He will and we will be born into the family of God, we will have our names written in the Book of Life and when we draw our last breath in this world, we will spend our eternity with God in the next. (Heaven).

So Easter is the central focus of Christianity because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now, my question for you to think about for this week is this: “What does Easter mean to you?” What is Easter all about to you and your family?

I remember when I was growing up, Easter meant new clothes for Easter Sunday to wear to church, new shoes and a new suit. Boy, did I look nice at least one Sunday out of the year. Then, after church, Easter meant Sunday dinner with grandma and grandpa. It was always great to go to their house — better when food was involved.

And then, there was the Easter Egg hunt. I mean, when you are the only grandchild, the Easter egg hunt was huge. I found colored and candy eggs all over their yard, in the trees and bushes, behind rocks, in the mailbox, even on the hood of their car. And there was always a huge basket full of candy and a huge solid chocolate Easter bunny hanging on the pump outside their back door. That was awesome because that basket to a 6-year-old looked as huge as a bushel basket and it was full of goodies.

What does Easter mean to you? Colored eggs? Easter Egg hunts? New clothes? Going out to eat? Eating at the relative’s house? Maybe just staying home and relaxing on Sunday morning — even sleeping in until noon.

Maybe this year, Easter could take on a different meaning for you. God loves you. Yes, you. He loves you and He loves you so much that He allowed His only Son to die on the cross for your sins so that if you would accept what Jesus did for you and not trust in your own works to get you to Heaven, you could be saved and Heaven could be your eternal home. I know. I have accepted Jesus as my Savior. Now, what about you?

Why don’t you bow your head, close your eyes and tell God you realize you are a sinner and you need a Savior and that you want to confess your sins to Him and you want to receive Jesus as your Savior. Invite Jesus into your life right now and this Easter it will have a new meaning for you too. I hope you will pray that prayer and if you don’t have a home church please check us out on Sunday. We’d be glad to have you and your family become part of our family. We’re growing and we’d love for you to come and grow with us.

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

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Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.