Easter is the pivotal point of history and of our faith. Everything changed with the two events that bookend that first Easter weekend: Jesus’ crucifixion and His resurrection. With these two events, Jesus did away with our need to work to achieve righteousness by following a set of rules and made a way for us to live forever.

The significance of Easter is twofold. First, is that Jesus died to atone for all our sins, exchanging our sins for His righteousness when we believe in Him. Second, when Jesus rose from the dead, He conquered death. The same power to resurrect after death is now within us who believe in Jesus so that we, too, will resurrect to eternal life after our physical deaths.

The meaning of Easter is both simple and profound. Jesus said that our faith should be like that of a child, accepting and believing without needing to understand it all fully, because we never will this side of eternity.

The Meaning of the Crucifixion

As we approach Easter each year, there usually comes a moment where the meaning of the holiday impacts me deeply.

This year, that moment came when a blogger I follow, Andrea Dekker, shared this video of her children singing the old hymn, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus. There’s something about the sweet voices of children singing words of life-changing truth that drives it deeply into our hearts and souls.

Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know, 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 

For my pardon this I see — 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea —
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone —
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done —
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace —
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness —
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Robert Lowry

This song contains the theology of the crucifixion in simple terms. It is Jesus’ blood that He shed on the cross that washes us clean from our sins. It is Jesus’ blood that makes us whole and complete. It is Jesus’ blood that transfers His perfect and sinless righteousness to us. It is Jesus’ blood and only His blood that does these things because any good that we have done is never enough.

All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6

I sobbed as I listened to this song this morning.  “Naught of good that I have done” hit me like a ton of bricks. There is nothing I can do to make myself righteous. But Jesus has! By believing in Him, His blood has washed away all my sins, past, present and future, and made me whole, complete, and righteous, just as He is. In Jesus, I am perfect! And so are you!

The Meaning of the Resurrection

While the crucifixion of Jesus changes everything, it would be nothing without His resurrection three days later. Because it was God in the flesh who died, He also had the power to raise Himself from the grave.

And because Jesus overcame death, we too can overcome death if we believe in Him.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:11 NIV

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.

John 11:25 niv

This wonderful truth gives us assurance of life beyond this earthly one. And that truly does change everything!

If there is any song that lifts my spirits to the heavens, it is Lift Your Glad Voices. My first memory of this song was at my baby sister’s funeral when I was four years old. It was the last song of the service, and the rafters of that church truly did ring with the triumphant voices of the congregation singing victoriously, “For Jesus hath risen, and man cannot die!”

The thought that comforted my little heart was that I would see Karen again! My young brain mercifully did not comprehend how long it would be until that reunion. But on that day, it was enough to know that I would!

Lift Your Glad Voices

Lift your glad voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man cannot die!
Vain were the terrors that gathered around Him,
And short the dominion of death and the grave.

He burst from the fetters of darkness that bound Him,
Resplendent in glory to live and to save!
Loud was the chorus of angels on high,
The Savior hath risen, and man shall not die!

Glory to God, in full anthems of joy!
The being He gave us death cannot destroy:
Sad were the life we may part with tomorrow,
If tears were our birthright, and death were our end.

But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow,
And bade us, immortal, to Heaven ascend.
Lift then your voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die!

Henry Ware

Listen to this beautiful rendition of this song by my brother and his family.

Lift Your Glad Voices by the Horst family
Luke, Kara, Joel, Cathy, Nathan, Myron, Daniel, and Melody Horst

We also sang this song at my grandmother’s and my mother’s graveside services. Again, the reassurance that this wasn’t the end made my spirit soar in spite of the heavy grief I was also feeling.

How Easter Can Change Everything for You

If you wonder how to have this life-changing relationship with Jesus where you receive His righteousness in exchange for your sins, it is very simple.

Believe that Jesus died for you and that He also defeated death for you. Trust that He has forgiven you and that He is with you always, providing all that you need in every moment.

That’s it: a simple faith and trust in Jesus that grows day after day. Don’t worry about having lots of faith in this moment. It will grow over time. Right now all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed, which isn’t very big!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 NIV