For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. | 1 Corinthians 15.21-22
The reason why Easter is so powerful is because it is the source from which the whole world emanates. We tend to think of history in a linear way, and the Bible as flowing chronologically: creation, fall, redemption, reconciliation…in this, it all starts with creation, before that is simply darkness. The truth is, before creation, there was God. Before the world was made, the plan was in place. So while redemption reveals itself in history through Jesus, it had always been part of the design.
I remember the first time I realized this: the OT could not exist without the gospel. As I read the account in the garden, and the flood, and the story of Abraham, and Israel’s ceremonial laws, I realized that none were possible without the cross. Creation is as a backdrop for God to reveal Himself through Jesus, so even existence owes itself to the death, burial, and resurrection. Adam and Eve would not have survived God’s wrath without the grace of Jesus. Noah would not have had a safe place from the storm if not for Jesus sacrifice. Abraham could not have been selected had his sin not been paid for. The entirety of the Jewish system means nothing if it is divorced from the Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5.7), the once and forever sacrifice (Hebrews 10.12), the High Priest who makes atonement for the sins of His people (Hebrews 2.17). This is how the resurrection is not just a point in history, but the central point that all history orbits around. This world does not make sense apart from Jesus.
2000 years later, none of that has changed. We may have advanced scientifically and technologically, but the world still needs a purpose, a reason to exist. All of these advancements have not helped us answer the question WHY? they have simply shifted the question to HOW? We need Easter to give us the meaning; we need Easter to show us the story that all of the details of our life (and all existence) fit into. We need Easter, because without it we are each simply creating our own story, which may be interesting but fails to be true. Living our lives based on anything other than Jesus is an exercise in futility, and a pursuit that ends in death. May we declare with joy and absolute need: CHRIST HAS RISEN!