My favorite two holidays, as it probably is for many other Christians, is Christmas and Easter. Christmas was the promise, Easter is the victory.
We often hear as well as see various printed material during the Christmas season that "Jesus is the reason for the season." I would like to declare along with the backing of the Holy Scripture that you, "loved one," are Jesus' reason for the Easter season!
The Bible confirms this in the following passage; "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:2.
I would like to bring your attention to a particular portion of this rich verse; "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross."
Jesus was on a mission and that mission's goal was you!
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" Luke 19:10 (NKJV).
Notice the choice of words here; "that which was lost." First we must look at who lost it, where it was lost and then what was lost.
Adam was the culprit when he allowed sin to enter into the Garden. The Garden of Eden was the where; the Garden represented Heaven on Earth.
What was lost was significant; it was a significant and tragic loss to God, to Adam and Eve and to all of mankind.
The first thing that was lost was intimacy; following the fall, Adam and Eve no longer had that precious privilege of walking with God in the cool of the day; sweet Holy Communion was lost.
Secondly, their identity was lost, they no longer knew who they were, that is why the Bible recorded that they were afraid and hid themselves.
This was traumatizing for them and deeply heartbreaking for God, who as any father mourns when a child goes astray no longer knowing who they are.
Thirdly, their influence was lost on the earth, they no longer had dominion over the animals and now had to toil the ground. I want to encourage you to read the first three chapters of Genesis to discover this truth in a deeper way.
As Jesus made His way up the hill of Golgotha riddled in indescribable pain and agony, there was a source of strength that transcended the physical.
It was an emotional power that pulsed throughout His body with every beat of His heart, a heart that was beating for you. It was you, your face and the individual faces of all mankind.
His love for you and knowing that which was lost would finally be restored was the joy that was set before Him that caused Him to endure the cross and that is why you are the reason for the season!
Don Sturiano, is pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Church, which meets at 10:30 a.m. Sundays at 825 Ninth St. W., just across the street from Turner Donuts in downtown Bradenton. Call 941-776-0026 or visit www.kingdomlifechristianchurch.org for more information.