Has anyone ever wondered why gifts are given on Christmas and Easter? The reason is, On Christmas we celebrate Jesus Christ's birth. The gift that was given at that time was him, Jesus Christ was and is God's gift to the world. The miracles he preformed, the lessons he taught, the lives he blessed, they were all gifts, he was a gift and to so many. The second gift is the one we celebrate on Easter that was the gift of the atonement. The gift of his death and resurrection for our salvation, so that our sins could be washed away and so that death and the chains of sin didn't have to be permanent if we only used the great gift he gave us.
I want to explain the atonement or how I see it.. I get the notion that not everyone fully understands. See, in nature, everything has a consequence, just naturally that's how it is. You throw a huge rock at a window so it is going to break, you fall so you are going to get a bruise or scrape your skin, consequences. Well, it is the same thing with more spiritual and serious things. You commit murder, you go to jail, and because of that you might even be sentenced to death. What the atonement does is, it does not save us from the temporary consequences of life like for in this example jail and death, we are going to have to pay that price, but it does save us from the eternal consequence of say hell. (And by hell I do not mean that place of fire and brimstone, I believe Hell is more a state of mind and being subject to the devil in this way.) What the atonement does in this instance is if that person who commited murder has a change of heart and now feels completely guilty for what he's done without using the atonement and repentance he could feel that way for the rest of his life and into the rest of eternity. So he would be in the hell of guilt, shame, sadness, depression (anyone who has felt those feeling strongly knows it really does feel like hell, however this would not just be for a period of time this would be eternal unless this person has a change of heart and decides to use the atonement) but if he turned around and had a deep desire to change, it is possible, because of the atonement. How this happened is Jesus Christ, by taking all of our sins and feeling all the consequences of them, and by being subject to death for a time, he payed the price that justice would demand. So, all of the sins we ever commit are already paid for so unless we repent we are just wasting his sacrifice and paying it again even though we don'y have to!Let me try to say this as simple as I can.. God's law, and natures law is that there be justice in all things (you do something you pay for it just like in a store, money for food), so think of Jesus as the kind person behind us in line at the grocery store that offers to pay for our food and does and think of Justice as the cashier. How stupid would it be to pay the cashier AGAIN even though the kind man behind us already paid for it? That is what the atonement does, Christ has already paid the demands of Justice so that if we choose, and if we have a change of heart we can repent and be washed clean AND NOT HAVE TO PAY THE CASHIER AGAIN!
So you see, all that pain, all that suffering look how much it paid for, look at how many of us it could save if only we realized it! Think of how many people don't even know (remember) who they are, what Christ has done for them, WHO HE IS! Can. You. Imagine?
I would like to bear my testimony to you now that I KNOW God and Jesus Christ live, and that Jesus Christ paid the price for us to come back to him and be washed clean. I know that we are loved and that we are his, and that if we only remember, our lives can be so much better. I KNOW that this is real, that God is real, that Jesus is real, that he is our savior and that we are his brothers and sisters all going through this test of life. I KNOW that if we come to him we can be saved and that so much pain and heartache can be avoided and that he can help us trhrough the hard things we go through. He literally knows how we feel and what we are going through and he wants to help us get through this test. I know this church is true, I know that God lives, I know that Jesus Christ lives and that because of him, we can be saved, we can live with our families for eternity, we can be strengthened, there will always be second chances, we can always return, nothing is impossible and that we can someday return to live with him. I say these things humbly, as an unworthy, loving, thankful child of God, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Why then the egg in Easter? New beginnings. Life. Why the hunt? Finding. Put them together: Finding New Beginnings. Life. Happy Easter.