Some of you will say, “That is not me. I get it. I get that Easter is about Jesus.” That is good, for yes, Easter is about Jesus, but what about Jesus? What are we celebrating? What is so important about the empty tomb? To understand that depth of Easter, like so many things we must begin at the beginning.
In the beginning God created everything. In this everything was earth. On this earth was man. After God created everything he made a powerful statement, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
Fast forward two chapters and we see the wheels come off. Things go from very good to very bad. God had given Adam and Eve a law prohibiting a certain food. Adam and Even doubted God's Love and doubted God's Word and disobeyed. The consequence for this act of rebellion was death. Because of their sin, the Earth would go from a lush garden to a graveyard.
From that point on, death reigned. Starting with Abel and continuing to today, everyone dies. Why? Because of sin; first in Adam, but also in us, for we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), and the wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23). This means we have earned death, and because of this, the Earth is no longer sprouting forth life such as a garden, but it is full of millions and millions and millions of graves. In each one of these graves lay the bones of humanity. That is except one.
There is a grave in Jerusalem that lies empty. At one time a dead man occupied it, but only for a short time, three days to be exact. However, on the third day something happened that had never occurred before. The man that lay in the tomb rose, not by the power of doctors or medicine, but by the power of Himself. He had testified of this prior to his death, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19)
At that moment, it is as if the world started to spin in the opposite direction, for what this man did was unparalleled. He reversed destiny. He reversed the curse of sin. He was the first being who existed that was stronger than death itself. Of the millions and millions that went before him, he was the only one who was able to break the chains that imprison us to the tombs.
Who is this man? It is Jesus of Nazareth, a carpenter; the son of Joseph and Mary; whose brothers were James, Joses, Judas, and Simon (Mark 6:3), who spoke with authority, healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, turned water to wine, fed thousands, walked on water, calmed the storms, proclaimed to be equal with God, caused men to fall to the ground upon speaking, “I am He”, and “opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter” he accepted the cross (Isaiah 53:7). And it was through this death that we find life.
This God Man did what no mere man could do, He set captives free. This is what Easter is about. It is about the reversal of the curse that began in the beginning. It is about restoring the Garden of Eden by the resurrection of the dead, unleashing the tombs, if you will. Christ is the first, but He is not the last. For those who belong to Christ will leave their tombs behind them, just as Christ did. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23), and this is why we celebrate.