With Easter almost upon us, now is a good time to stop and remember what this time means to Christians. For me, Easter represents a new beginning, and the most important new beginning in the Bible.
There are many new beginnings in the Bible, but none more important or significant than that which occurred during the Passover when Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification.
Consider some of the other new beginnings in the Bible and how they also relate to this momentous event we celebrate at Easter.
Noah and the Food
Noah survived the universal deluge of the earth that wiped out all life, except for the eight people who entered the ark and the animals they took with them.
Noah survived because he pleased God and was righteous in God’s eyes. Thus, in the grace of God, Noah was permitted to live with his family to repopulate the earth after God removed all forms of sin through the flooding of all civilisations.
Noah’s example is important because it points directly to the new beginning we have today through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Noah became a forerunner for those who would be given a new life through faith, by being baptised into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as Noah was saved through water, so too Christians today are saved through water when they are baptised and receive the grace of God by faith.
Moses and the Children of Israel
Another new beginning to consider was when Israel left Egypt to come into the Promised Land. Under the leadership of Moses, the servant of God, the people fled Egypt as slaves. Pharaoh chased them to the Red Sea to bring them back, but God had other ideas.
God parted the waters, piling it up on both sides, for the Israelites to pass through the sea as if on dry land, and so escape Pharaoh. But when Pharaoh, with his chariots, horsemen, and soldiers attempted to follow, God closed the waters over them and the Egyptians were all drowned.
The Israelites left Egypt as slaves. But after passing through the waters two things changed.
- They were set free from the slavery of Egypt and the Israelites were given a new beginning.
- They could not go back the way they had come.
Like Noah, the Israelites under Moses were saved through water. This too points to the new beginning we experience as we are baptised and believe in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Through baptism we are set free from sin and are born anew to worship Christ in Spirit and truth.
Baptism, A New Beginning in Jesus Christ
That first Easter was the beginning of the new age of the Christian church when Jesus died and was resurrected. In this act we see the power of God at work, and we remember what this means to those who come to Christ.
When we come to Christ seeking His grace in our lives and recognising the need for a Saviour, it is by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ that we receive the promises of God. It was in the death of Jesus that our sins are forgiven, and it is in His resurrection that we receive new life as new creations in Christ.
This is the new beginning all Christians seek. We yearn to start afresh and learn to live on this earth as Christ lived.
Like Moses and the Israelites, or Noah and his family, we enter into this freedom and receive this new life through entering into Jesus Christ. As those people in Bible history were saved through water, so too today we are saved through water when we are baptised into Christ.
Just as it was a new beginning for them, so too baptism is a new beginning for us. It is just the first step of many as we learn how to walk with and in Jesus Christ.
So take some time this Easter to reflect on these things. Remember this new beginning started when Jesus died for you all those years ago. And if you have not yet begun your walk in Christ, take the first steps and come to Him who can and will give you the promised freedom and the teachings that lead to life.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” John and his wife Colleen travel all over Australia and you will often find him playing guitar or ukulele outside their caravan somewhere in the Great Outback. You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his Christian Bible study blog (freegiftfromgod.com/blog).
John Lemmon’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/john-lemmon.html