The Significance of Easter

The death of Jesus that Christians mark on Good Friday, signifies a titanic collision between good and evil. The following principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12) were the cause of the collision and the cross was the point of impact:

  1. Jealousy, deception and lies by the religious class. The religious leaders lied that
    Jesus wanted to be king of the Jews (Matt. 27: 11; Mark 15: 2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33).
  2. Insecurity, corruption and opportunism by the ruling class. Pilate knew Jesus was
    innocent, but still went ahead and betrayed him (Matt. 27:18).
  3. Gullibility, unreliability, and silence by the masses – the silent majority. The masses
    witnessed and benefited from Jesus’ teaching and actions. But they never raised a
    finger when lies were leveled against him and some of them even joined in calling for his crucifixion (Matt. 27: 15-23).

Satan, the father of all lies (John 8:44), exploited these to maximum effect leading to Good Friday. As Jesus hang on the cross, the world went totally dark for three hours – from 12noon to 3.00pm (Matt 27:45; Mark 15:33; Lk 23:44). For the disciples, it was three days of darkness, fear, and uncertainty. When Jesus was born there was light from the heavens at midnight (Luke 2:9) with angels descending and ascending in hymns. When Jesus was crucified, there was darkness at midday. In other words, God turned on the lights at the birth of Jesus (Matt. 2:2). And turned it off at his crucifixion.

Jesus was sent to the world to usher in the Kingdom of God. And through his powerful
teaching and miracles, he shone light on the principalities and powers, exposed their
hypocrisy and lies, and portrayed them as “whitewashed tombs” (Matt. 23: 27-28). The
religious and ruling classes were afraid of the rising popularity and influence of Jesus (John 12:19) and decided to fight back. Lies were their only weapon which they used to frame an innocent and righteous man and got him crucified. In doing so, they won a momentary victory on Good Friday leading to three hours of darkness, and three days of hopelessness, fear and resignation all over Palestine.

But then God intervened on Easter Sunday morning – raising Jesus from the grave – and making nonsense of the victory won by the principalities and powers. Good Friday tells us that evil is powerful. Evil can and does win. But the victory of evil is short lived. It may be three hours, three days, three weeks, three months, three years or even three decades. It is still momentary. God and good will always have the last word.

Whether the victory of evil in our lives and situations will take three hours, three days, three weeks, etc, will depend on our response. After the disciples re-grouped after the crucifixion, twelve of them turned the world upside down by simply picking up the light Jesus used to expose the religious and ruling classes, and continued what Jesus did by shining it on the principalities and powers. That is what Easter calls the church and every Christian to do – to rise up and pick up the light of the gospel and expose lies and evil whenever and wherever they may be. Only light can drive out darkness.

Rev. Prof. John Azumah – March 2024