English bluebells hidden deep in a mature woodland forest with early morning sunlight peeping though the trees

Why? | Easter Message 2019

Have you ever asked why? When things go wrong or something bad happens, we may ask ‘Why me?’ or ‘Why did that happen?’ Of course, we don’t often get an answer to our cries of why?

Many questions surround the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, why did Jesus have to endure such a cruel death on a cross? He had shown such love and compassion to people. He had proved to them by his actions and teaching that He was no ordinary man but the Son of God.

So why did a crowd despise and reject Him, shouting ‘crucify him, crucify him?’ (Luke 23.21).

Why did a man of such authority as the Roman Governor Pilate, listen to the unruly crowd and condemn Jesus to death, whom he knew was guiltless? Pilate had declared for everyone to hear ‘I find no fault in this man’ (Luke 23.4), yet he went on to allow a terrible injustice to take place.Why did Pilate hand over Jesus to be nailed to the cross? Why was the whole land shrouded in darkness for three hours in the middle of the day, as Jesus was dying on the cross? Why were there earthquakes and why was the temple curtain torn from the top to the bottom at the exact moment Jesus died?

‘Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour…The veil of the temple was rent in twain [two] from top to bottom: and the earth did quake’ (Matthew 27.45&51).

After Jesus’ body had been taken down from the cross it was laid in a tomb, but why did the authorities go to such lengths as to seal the entrance and set a guard over the tomb? Were they convinced that something extraordinary would happen?

‘So they went, and made the sepulchre [tomb] sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch’ (Matthew 28.66).

Early on the third day some women went to the tomb. Why on that day? When they arrived the stone had been rolled away, the tomb was empty and the angel of the Lord told them that Jesus had risen—He was alive! God had raised his Son to life again, but why? There are many more questions that could be asked about this remarkable and unique event but the most important one is: why did Jesus die and rise again?

‘We believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 4.24-25 & 5.1).