The Reason Why We Celebrate

Posted on April 7, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Victory Call

As we celebrate this holiday weekend, it’s easy to forget why we celebrate this holiday. Our modern-day world has created its own celebration as to thwart us from remembering what Jesus did for us.

Think about this: all within 24 hours, Jesus was going to be betrayed by one of his closest friends, repeatedly denied by another, beaten beyond recognition, & nailed to a cross beside two other criminals. He didn’t ask for this; but it was required of Him. He was sent to this earth to be born the Sacrificial Lamb for the ENTIRE world, so that you and I would have a chance to be in Heaven when we pass from this earth. Jesus knew that one day He would need to lay down His life to save the world.

Jesus wasn’t a criminal to be dealt with, although the Religious Leaders and Jewish people saw Him as one, due to Jesus’ prophesying that He is God’s Son and The King of the Jews. The Pharisees saw Him as a blasphemer, and that was their justification (in their minds) to move forward with these significant moments in history. The Romans were some of the most ruthless and brutal people. Their bloodthirst was unquenchable.

(John 18)

After Jesus was arrested and betrayed by a kiss by Judas, he was led to a courtyard where one of His closest friends/disciples, Peter, would deny Him… not once, not twice, but three times… all within ear-shot of Jesus. He didn’t remember it at the time, but Jesus had told Him of this that night at dinner just hours before, or as we know it: The Last Supper.

(Think about that for a moment…. Imagine one of your closest friends standing within ear-shot of you, when asked if they knew you, they said they never knew you. Over and over and over. Imagine the gut-punch? That sinking feeling in your chest.)

(Matthew 27)

Shortly after this, Jesus was taken to Annas’ house, the father-in-law of the High Priest, and then to Pilate, the Governor. After listening to Jesus privately, Pilate found no guilt in Jesus and wanted to release Him. But the people, being persuaded by the chief priests and elders, weren’t having it. It was a Jewish custom to release a prisoner at Passover, one man, a robber, was already imprisoned – named Barabbas. The Jewish people chose Barabbas to be released and not Jesus. “Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ 23 And he said, ‘Why? What evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’” (vs. 22) “… he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’” (vs. 24) Pilate made Jesus the people’s responsibility… but they couldn’t lawfully murder someone.

(John 19)

Because of that choice (and further fulfilling the prophesy), Jesus was taken to be beaten. I won’t get into the details to save some sensitive stomachs, but He was senselessly beaten beyond recognition. Needless to say, the Romans tore flesh from bone. On top of that, they mocked Jesus saying “I am the King of the Jews”, so they saw to it to beat a crown made of thorns into his skull. Now these thorns weren’t what we’d think of as tiny rose bush thorns… No. They were about 2-3 inches long. I’ll leave that as enough said.

But because Pilate found no guilt in Jesus, and had just had Him beaten, Pilate thought that’d be enough to satisfy the Jewish people, but they wanted Jesus dead. Crucified to be specific. So, they made Jesus carry His own cross.

(Now pause for a moment… put yourself in Jesus’ shoes, so-to-speak. You’ve just been beaten senseless and a “crown” of thorns beat into your skull. Now imagine being made to carry a HEAVY cross. Like I said before, I don’t want to be too graphic, but this wasn’t sanded wood. And if you’ve ever carried wooden logs, you know they can be heavy! Now imagine carrying a whole cross on a raw open-wounded back…)

… And then they stripped Him of His clothes and nailed Him to it between two other criminals. On Jesus’ cross they put a sign that read “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” In addition, they gambled His clothes off.

(Matthew 27)

The conclusion of this day shows Jesus’ humanity – He said “I thirst” (John 19:28). But instead of giving Him something tasteful or clean, the Roman soldiers offered up sour wine. And after drinking it, “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matt. 27:45) In this moment, Jesus bore the ENTIRE WEIGHT OF SIN on His shoulders. God cannot look on sin, which is why God, The Father, was forced to turn His face away from His Son…

(Imagine the loneliness Jesus must’ve felt? Hanging in utter agony… Slowly dying… and the only person who could fathom what you’re going through turned His face away from Him. Forsook Him. God couldn’t bear to look at Him because of all of OUR sin on His Son’s shoulders.)

After that the people continued to mock him further saying that Jesus was calling to Elijah, the Prophet, and to see if he’d come “rescue” Jesus. But nothing happened. It wasn’t supposed to. Jesus wasn’t meant to be freed from the cross. This needed to happen.

Then Jesus said, “It is finished” and died. It is significant that they did not break Jesus’ legs. The Romans would break the legs of those hanging on a cross to “speed up the process,” especially since it was nearing the Sabbath (the Jewish people can’t work on the Sabbath). But Jesus was already dead. For proof of death the soldiers would spear the side of the deceased. If they were actually dead, a mixture of blood and water would come out. Which is why Jesus has a pierced side – they wanted to make sure He was dead.

He was brought down from the cross, His body prepped with linens and spices, and laid Him in a tomb close by. Since the Sabbath was close, they didn’t really have time to carry Him elsewhere. It was a tomb that was not used prior to Jesus.

But Jesus’ story doesn’t stop there! Cue Easter or “Resurrection” Sunday!  It’s pretty self-explanatory! And is the WHOLE REASON why we get the choice to accept Jesus into our hearts and be in Heaven with Him one day.

(Matthew 28)

At the end of the Sabbath, two women – both named Mary – went to Jesus’ tomb with more spices. The tomb was guarded by soldiers out of fear that someone would come steel His body and claim that the resurrection prophesy came true. “62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, ‘Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.’” 65 Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.’ 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.” (Matt. 27:62-66) But there was an earthquake. The soldiers fainted. An angel rolled the stone away and JESUS ROSE FROM THE GRAVE! “But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” (Matt. 28:5-7)

This is why we are able to have faith that one day we will be able to be in Heaven with Jesus!

If you have questions about where you may end up after you leave this earth, please call (800)453-7942 to speak with someone about asking Jesus to be a part of your life!


Written by Elizabeth Welte: Elizabeth is currently serving as Keswick’s full-time Marketing Department head. She is married to Zach Welte, son of Bill Welte, who also serves Keswick in Keswick’s AV Department. She is an advanced violinist; playing for 20+ years. She also rides & jumps horses in her spare time.

Think About This: “Nothing can happen without God’s permission and God will not allow a difficulty unless He has a divine purpose for it. If you will keep your peace, you’ll pass the test, and God will bring you out better than you were before.” –Unknown Author

The Daily Bible Reading: Judges 19-20. You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

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