Sin created a tremendous problem for us both. The wages of sin were clearly explained ahead of time—death would be the result. Because we are all sinners, not only would all of our physical bodies eventually die, but our eternal destiny would be described the same way, as spiritual death—an eternal separation from the Source of any life.
And how many sins would be required for death to result? One. And it doesn’t have to be one of those “top-ten” or “nasty-nine” gross sins. Just one of what you might even consider your “acceptable” sins—which, by the way, we all have. For example, taking a chunk of fresh pineapple from my wife’s buffet breakfast was a sin. The menu clearly stated that the buffet was only for those who paid for it, and I was ordering off the menu, only paying for her buffet. Ignorance is bliss, but I knew the rule. Unfortunately, I also knew James 4:17. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
To try to get around the rule, I even joked with the server about it. She showed no mercy—and only reinforced the rule. “The buffet is only for those who pay for it.” But one little piece of pineapple was an acceptable sin to me. Yet, that one little piece of pineapple would have been sufficient to keep me out of Heaven. That’s kind of scary!
While some of you might scoff at that notion, deep down inside, you're afraid I might be right. Most people try to stay busy to avoid any thoughts about dying, because that’s when we all find out for sure what all of this actually means. We try to deny that latent fear of death. We spend significant amounts of money trying to look younger longer and feel better longer. The anti-aging industry is a $300B industry. But the end result remains the same. Every morning, when you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, before you work your magic, you’re reminded that death continues to be the most democratic institution on Earth. One death per person.
That’s why Easter matters so much. In that first moment of Resurrection, Jesus conquered our greatest fear, buried our greatest enemy, and transformed our eternal destiny.
As I write this, they’re still investigating a series of terrorist Easter bombings that killed almost 300 Sri Lankan Christian worshippers. You would expect terrorists to use the best technology they had to make their point. As dark as it sounds, and for thousands of years, the best technology on Earth was death. Death had rendered everything else meaningless. No matter what you’d accomplished or accumulated, if you died, you couldn’t enjoy it. But death was only the superior technology until that moment on Easter morning, when Jesus made it irrelevant.
Look at it this way. If you were to take the next Space-X opportunity to orbit the Earth (which I’d do in a heartbeat if anyone wanted to cover my $35M ticket) and, when you got up there, they said, “To get the “full Space experience, we’re going to open the spacecraft and let you take a spacewalk!” And you said, “Cool, where is my spacesuit?” And they said, “You won’t need one.” And you said, ”What do you mean, I don’t need one?” And they said, “You work out, right? You take vitamins, right? You brought your Cholesterol level down, right? You get Botox treatments, right?” You might be able to say, “Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes!” But those things wouldn’t matter once the door of that spacecraft opens. At that point, you’d need an unnatural technology to survive an environment that your body wasn’t designed to live in.
Just like that, it doesn’t matter what you do to take care of yourself in this life—your life is still going to end around the same time. Good health is simply the slowest way to die. At that point, you’ll need a new supernatural technology to survive. When that door to eternity opens up, you better be suited up, because your present body cannot survive the jump into eternity.
As of that first Easter morning, almost 2,000 years ago, the Resurrection of Jesus introduced that technology, the greatest spiritual technology we could ever have and would ever need. We don’t really get this, I think. There is no way to overstate the power of Resurrection from death. Death was the ultimate punishment. When it was introduced into the Garden of Eden, it gave life a shelf-life. Death sucks! It sucked the life out of us all. But now, we’ve been promised a new birth.
Several months before Jesus would be crucified in Jerusalem, one of Jesus’ friends, a man named Lazarus was near death. The Apostle John recorded the entire sequence in chapter 11. Jesus, the great healer, knowing Lazarus was gravely ill, waited a few more days before making the trip to see him. In the meantime, Lazarus died. Predictably, Lazarus’ sister Martha was broken-hearted. When Jesus and His disciples finally showed up in Bethany to attend the funeral, she complained that, had Jesus arrived sooner, her brother could have been healed. Jesus’ initial response was alarmingly dismissive. “Your brother will rise again.” But He continued.“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
It’s not a trick question. It’s a simple question that requires a simple answer.
Do you believe Him, or not?
So, what if I told you that a new form of personal technology was available? That it is not only superior to what you’re presently stuck with, but it takes the most powerful option available on the market today and makes it irrelevant. Would you be interested?
And, oh yeah, it’s also free.