History’s pivotal moment, Christians understand, was when a gracious God redeemed fallen sinners.
The Bible, Christians believe, is the story of Jesus’ redemptive work consummated when he raises believers and unbelievers alike, the one to eternal glory, the other to eternal damnation.
Believers will receive unimaginable, undeserved blessings. Unbelievers will receive the just penalty their rebellion against God deserves.
Christianity’s exclusivity offends unbelievers. But Jesus was unambiguous, proclaiming: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
On Easter, Christians celebrate this pivotal point in human history when God paid the ransom they owed. Jesus became their propitiation, as the Bible calls it, covering their sins with his blood. In this way Jesus reconciled sinners to the holy God from whom they had become estranged, removing the enmity between him and them.
When God looks on sinners who have come to faith, he no longer sees their sins, but sees instead the righteousness of his son. That is because Jesus was their substitute, the life given in place of theirs, as the prophet foresaw six centuries earlier:
“And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus’ greatest victory was overcoming death, rising after three days from the tomb, and ascending to the right hand of God. Christians take refuge in the Resurrection’s hope, noting the words of Apostle Paul:
“(I)f Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. … And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17)
Today Christians around the world rejoice in the reminder that the tomb was empty and “He is risen!” (Mark 16:6)