By Chloe West

Easter is a time for remembering the ultimate sacrifice ever made, the greatest gift anyone ever gave, the biggest boon ever granted to mankind. God came down to Earth in the form of a man, Jesus. He was a humble worker born in poor circumstances. When He reached manhood He began to preach, teach, and heal, thus gathering a following.

But, just as He knew they would, those opposing the love and freedom He taught, killed Him by nailing Him to a cross in one of the cruelest forms of execution imaginable. Yet even in death He demonstrated His message of love by forgiving His captors and comforting the repentant criminal being executed on the cross next to His. In three days He rose from the dead, proving His divinity.

Easter is the celebration of His triumph. It is not the commemoration of His death, but of His life, the life that refused to be stopped by the grave, that pushed back the barriers of pain and suffering and despair, that vanquished the great enemies of man-his own weaknesses and shortcomings.

In our all-too-imperfect human state, we do not deserve to be together with God, who is perfect in every way. So in unfathomable love, Jesus took the punishment for our wrongdoing, and then, as He hung on the cross, said, “It is finished.” He had done His job, He had suffered for our sins. Now we could receive His forgiveness, and with it, a new start in life. Jesus went to the root of all the misery and grief and horror caused by the sin of man, and forgave us all. He thus prepared the way for us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven, if we will only believe, and receive His gift of forgiveness and salvation.

Will you believe? Will you let your own sins and failings die with the One who suffered for them, the One who looks deep in your eyes and says, “I forgive”? As the Son of God, Jesus can forgive all your sins and give you a new start through His life, love, Spirit, and energy budding and blossoming inside you.

Won’t you give Him a chance? The choice is yours. The time is now; He is waiting. Just open your heart and say, “Jesus, I receive You as my Lord and my Savior. Please forgive my sins and help me make a new start. Please fill me with Your Spirit and life. I want to believe in You and trust You and even love You, Jesus. Please help me in the areas where I am lacking. Amen.”

Jesus will never fail you. He’ll always be there for you, ready to respond to your needs in an instant. He’s there now-yours forever-and He’ll never leave you.

What Is Easter?, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International