Summary: The reality of who Jesus is often times does not match up to our misconceptions.
“The Reality of Easter”
April 16, 2006
Today is Resurrection Sunday, the day we celebrate the greatest event in history. Easter is the time of year when we celebrate the events surrounding the last week of the life of Christ, his death and his resurrection. But so often, people become confused about what Easter is all about. And sometimes that leads to confusion about what Jesus is all about and why he came to earth in the first place.
Easter is associated with a number of different things.
- Picture of Easter bunnies
- Picture of children in Easter clothes
- Picture of decorated Easter eggs
- Picture of PEEPS
The reality is that although all of those things are part of Easter, they are not the central focus. We all agree in our minds that Jesus is the central focus of Easter. But there is a problem in how we view Jesus and the misconceptions people have of Jesus.
People are often confused about Jesus and who he is and what he is all about. Some people have a view of Jesus that says he was a great moral teacher. Some people have a view of Jesus that says he was a madman. Others know that there was Jesus, but they don’t know who or what he was. Some think that maybe he is the one who created everything, but now he is too busy for us.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Jesus is that he came only to be a finger pointing God to tell us what we had done wrong. I want to show you a video that gives us a glimpse of how people view Jesus and why he came to earth. Now I want to warn you, some of you will not like this video. It challenges some of our views of God and how we think of Jesus. But, understand this video is simply designed to help us wrap our minds around the concept of how people view Jesus so that we can begin to look at the reality of Jesus.
The problem is that for many people we have the view that Jesus simply came to point out all of our faults and failures. We think that he is only interested in looking at the things we have done wrong and brings us despair and shame. But scripture describes an entirely different view of Jesus.
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:1-11 (NIV)
This woman has been caught in adultery. The religious and societal laws of her day demanded that she be killed. The religious leaders bring her to Jesus to test him. If he does not demand her to be killed, then they are able to charge that Jesus himself is a lawbreaker. If he does demand she be killed, then he loses the reputation for compassion that has proceeded him. But Jesus does not condemn her. Instead he challenges the mob that has seized her to look inside their own lives to see if they are free form sin to enable them to throw the first stone.
The beauty of Easter is that Jesus refuses to throw stones.
Jesus is the only person who was free from all sin and who had kept all of the law. Scripture has this to say about Jesus:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)