North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

Easter Edition

Christianity celebrates two great religious holidays each year—Christmas and Easter. For most of us, Christmas is the bigger and greater season of the year. However, it’s the great miracle of Easter that gives Christmas its true meaning. Think for a moment and consider what Easter means. Jesus is the reason for the season… not Peter Cotton-tail.

We see the evidence all around us. Pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV, listen to the radio, think of the people you work with every day, or better yet, look in the mirror. The evidence is so plain that no honest person can deny it. The reason we feel so burdened in our spirit and we feel guilty, is because we are guilty. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). It also tells us, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Rom. 3:10). The record of our failures haunts us day and night; it whispers to us in the darkness and it shames us in the light. Sin stalks the trail of every person on earth. No one is born without sin, no one lives without sin, and no one can claim to be totally free from sin. The question is not, “Am I a sinner?” Because the answer is always yes. The question this Easter season is how do I get rid of the guilt I feel in my soul?”

There are three (3) primary ways people try handling the guilt problem. First, people try to do good; they hope to even the scales by being model mothers and exceptional fathers. They work in the church, volunteer at their kid’s school, help with carpooling kids, they pay their debts on time. They work hard on the job. They are fine, upstanding citizens who help make the world a better place. And they hope and pray that by doing good deeds they may find freedom, forgiveness, and release from the guilt from within.

Second, some try to cover their guilt through the pursuit of pleasure. For these people, life is one non-stop party. Everything is happiness, lights, and music. They laugh and talk and keep on moving. They are in perpetual motion because they fear that when the lights are turned off, if the laughter stops, if the noise dies down, they will have to face the hard facts of life. That’s why some people turn to alcohol, drugs, pills, uppers, downers, stimulants of every kind. It’s the only way they can deaden the deep inner pain.

Third, some people become very religious. They know they need to make their peace with God, so they join the church, get baptized, read the Bible, and attend mass. Religion for them is a way to alleviate the guilt they feel.

All these answers fail, because they don’t deal with the root problem which is sin and the moral guilt that exists between all humanity and a holy God. None of us can get around that issue. You can never be good enough to erase your guilt, you can’t laugh enough to drown out your guilt, and you can’t pray enough to cover up your guilt. It can’t be done.

Only Easter answers the problem of guilt. It was the death of Christ that made possible the forgiveness of sins. The Bible says, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). But it’s only true because Christ rose from the dead. If Jesus is still in the tomb, then we are still in our sin. If Jesus did not rise, then the Romans and Jewish leaders were right, when they crucified him. If Jesus didn’t come back from the dead, then Calvary was just another execution of a well-meaning religious leader. Without Easter, Good Friday isn’t good. Yes, the death of Christ was a sacrifice and substitutionary act to cover our sins, but only because the resurrection of Christ made his death effective. Death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:54).

Do you want forgiveness and release from your guilt? All you must do is look to the crucified, buried, and risen Son of God, Jesus Christ. He arose victorious and you’ll find forgiveness, freedom, and peace. The empty tomb says, He is risen. The disciples say, He is risen. The New Testament church says, He is risen. We all say, He is risen. Jesus conquered our last enemy. He solved the problem of eternal death of the soul, because he entered the realm of death on our behalf.

God has answers for your deepest questions about life. Let this Easter season be the season you declare Jesus Christ to be alive in you. Accept Jesus’ death as payment for your sin debt and commit yourself to Him. Search no more, and doubt no more. Let the living Lord live in you. (John 14:19).  Will you give Him your heart and life? Will you trust Him…….He arose a victor from the dark domain and he lives forever with the saints to reign! He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ Arose!

This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Apr 8 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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