I love Easter. It has a special vibe to it. But let’s make sure we understand the real reason for why Easter is special. For some people, it might be because it comes early in spring, and the weather is turning and that makes us feel good. And then Easter comes wrapped up with fun and family traditions, like egg hunts and candy, and that makes us feel good. All of these things are part of Easter’s magic, but it’s what Easter is really about – that empty tomb – which makes this day so powerful and special.

Isaiah 53:10 says, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer” referring to the Messiah.  And you know what this says to me about Easter? It says that Easter proves that God is in control of life.

If all of these terrible things that happened to Jesus were the Lord’s will, then that means that none of it caught God off guard. It didn’t happen by accident. He didn’t say to the angels, “Oh no, how am I going to manage this?”

Peter in his first sermon on the day of Pentecost said to the thousands he was preaching to, who still vividly remembered the events of Jesus’ crucifixion because it had only happened a month and a half earlier: Acts 2:23 –

[Jesus] was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge.”

The apostle Paul would later write to the Galatian church these words, Galatians 1:3-4 – “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”

Months before it all happened, Jesus gathered his disciples together and told them point-blank what was about to shake out. Luke 9:22 – “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed on the third day be raised to life.” What word stands out in what Jesus says? He says it twice. “Must”. These things “must” happen.

Think back to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. One thing that becomes clear as we read the story, is that these events, seemingly chaotic to the disciples’ eyes, madness on parade, these events are firmly in Jesus’ control. He knows that Judas will betray him. He knows that Peter will deny him. The soldiers charge into the garden, and for a second there’s a pause as they come face to face with Jesus. They can’t touch him unless Jesus allows it. Jesus says in that moment, “Don’t you think I can’t call on my Father, and at once he will put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:54). Later Jesus says to Pilate the governor, “You would have no power over me unless it were given you from above.” Jesus even controlled the hour of his death. John 10:18 – “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”

If you’re thinking about this properly, then all of this should be a great comfort to your heart, because the very same God and Savior that was in full control of all these events back then is in full control still. And all that we see around us in the maddening world of ours – which to our eyes seems like chaos – is also securely in the palm of our God’s hands.

I don’t know what you’re going through in life right now, but I’d like you to pause right now, and take a deep breath. Calm your heart. And read the following words slowly:

  • God is in control.
  • If God is for me, who can be against me?
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
  • Jesus is with me.

Easter proves to us that God is in control of life. Take hold of that thought today, and hang on tight.

(For a video version of this blog, go to the ‘Sermons and Podcast’ tab and find Spark #5). 

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