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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What Does the Easter Story Have to Do with Me Going to Heaven?

After Jesus died to pay for the sins of all people, He stayed dead in the grave until the third day. Jesus chose to die for us, but because He is God, death could not hold Him captive.

On the morning of the third day, He came back to life with a perfected body, suited for heaven. The scars from his cruel death, however, remained, as both a proof and a reminder of the price He paid to save us.

If Jesus had not died and risen from the dead, we would have no hope of heaven. All of us have sinned (broken God’s laws) and are imperfect. God’s perfect holiness prevents us from entering heaven with sin tainting our souls. Yet we are incapable of cleansing ourselves from sin. Contrary to popular belief, our good deeds won’t balance out the bad. Even if all our deeds were good ones, they could never measure up to God’s holiness. Something had to be done to bridge the gap. Someone had to pay the penalty for our sins against a holy God. And only a perfect person could do it.

Since no human is or can be perfect, God came in human form—in the form of Jesus—and paid the debt Himself. Now Jesus is back in heaven. The Bible calls Him the “firstborn from the dead” (Rev. 1:5), because His resurrection on Easter opened the way to eternal life for anyone who will accept His free gift of salvation.

The reason God will accept us if we belong to Jesus Christ is that He no longer sees us as the imperfect humans we are. He chooses to see us through the perfection of His Son Jesus. The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus, we become new creations in Him. Jesus covers us with His righteousness, His goodness, and God casts our sins into a sea of forgetfulness. He will no longer remember them or count them against us.

So what does the Easter story have to do with your going to heaven? It has everything to do with it. For if Jesus had not paid for your sins and risen from the dead, you would never reach heaven. But because He did, you can accept His free gift of forgiveness. Right now, you can live a new life in Him, and then when you die, you can live forever with Him in heaven.

And that’s not just an Easter story. It’s the truth.

Copyright © Jeanne Dennis, used with permission.

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