Jesus' time on earth before his resurrection was anything but a failure, the Rev. Billy Graham said in a recent post.
Responding to a question posted to the "My Answers" portion of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's website, the 97-year-old religious leader said that only Jesus' enemies would have seen His time on earth as unsuccesful.
The question asked if Jesus' mission on earth was a failure, as he had hoped to be made king on earth but was rather killed.
Graham responds by saying that "Jesus had no desire to become an earthly king — as He repeatedly made clear. Instead, He came into the world to establish another type of kingdom — a spiritual kingdom, drawing together all who put their faith and trust in Him as their Savior, and committed themselves to follow Him as their Lord."
The evangelical leader indicates that this spiritual kingdom was far better than any earthly kingdom, because this Kingdom of God "would never end, for it was part of God's eternal plan for the human race."
The Baptist preacher went on to say that while Jesus' enemies may see Him as a failure because they thought he would be put to death and forgotten, in actuality he is remembered by millions, every day, 2,000 years later.
"By putting Him to death [Jesus' enemies] believed everyone would soon forget about Him. But they were wrong — because on the third day His tomb was empty! By the power of God, death had been defeated and Jesus was alive! And now, 2,000 years later, countless millions follow Him and worship Him every day," Graham writes.
Graham concludes by saying that to see Jesus' time on earth as a failure would be to miss the whole picture of God's purpose.
"[God's enemies] rejected Jesus because they failed to see who He really was — the eternal Son of God, sent into the world to save us from our sins and make us part of His Kingdom forever. Instead, by faith turn to Him today, confessing your sins and welcoming Him into your life," Graham writes.
Graham has spoken on the importance of Easter before, writing in April 2015 that it is important to remember the real reason Christians celebrate Easter: Jesus' resurrection.
"Easter does not mark the arrival of spring, nor is it simply meant to give us a break from work or school (although many see it this way). Instead, Easter celebrates what Christians believe is the most important event in human history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," Graham writes.
The preacher adds that Christians must remember the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made when he came down from heaven and went through the crucifixion and resurrection.
"[Jesus became] the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. Jesus was without sin, but when He died, something happened that's almost beyond comprehension: all our sins were transferred to Him, and He took upon Himself the judgment we deserve. Because of Christ, we can be cleansed of our sins and given the gift of eternal life," Graham says.