The Three R's of Easter
Time for a Spiritual Health Check Up?
Easter Door Knock - A Pleasant Surprise!
With Easter here once again we have an opportunity to do more than just have a holiday - we have the opportunity to consider the claims of Jesus once again. The testimony of the Bible is that he was the Son of God who came in fulfillment of God's promises to rescue his people. He said he was the lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world. He did this by laying down his life - by taking the wrath of God in our place - he did this willingly - because of love.
In Luke's account of the crucifixion (Chapter 23.26-43) we have presented to us the dark hours preceding Jesus death. In a remarkable sequence - no one seems to recognise who Jesus is - he is abandoned and alone.
The Leaders sneer at him, the soldiers mock him as a would be king, a sign is posted above him declaring 'This is the King of the Jews' and to cap it off one of the criminals dying along side of him adds his two cents worth of insult.
Jesus had lived a remarkable life of good deeds - he helped people, miaculously healed people, offered hope of better things to come and yet at his greatest hour of need where have all the supporters gone? Will no one stand for this well know Rabbi? The shouts of condemnation are over whelming but then a lone voice is heard from an unexpected source. The other criminal hanging along side of Jesus - rebukes the first criminal saying, 'Don't you fear God, since you are under the same sentence. We are punished justly for we are getting what we deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong!'
'Don't you fear God?' - a question we all should ponder. Without a fear of God - we will think we are the kings of the universe. But a right fear of God - will at the very least cause us to consider the claims of Christ and honestly examine his life.
The fear of God led that criminal to repent and cry out to Christ, 'Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom.' He recognised who Jesus was and in his dying breath cried out to him. Jesus came back with this amazing promise, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'
The reality is that none of us can save ourselves, but the reality is, that without a fear of God - we will be too proud to acknowledge this truth and humble ourselves enough to repent and put our faith and trust in God's saving King - Jesus.
We will all one day die - and we all want to be remembered - but it is God alone and his memory that counts - and he promises to remember those who have trusted in his annointed King, Jesus. He is the King who even in death offered life to any who would receive it. God remembers the repentant and at the end of the day he will forget the rest!
I'd prefer to be remembered wouldn't you? Especially by a God who loved you so much he sacrificed his one and only Son and three days later raised him to life. That's the sort of God I want to have in control of my life - how about you?
The 3 R's of Easter are simple: Recognise who Jesus is & what he has done for you in his death & resurrection? Repent of your sin - If you fear God this is your only recourse - acknowledge that you have lived life as if you were the boss and not God and then Rejoice because God will always remember you. There will come a day when, you will be with Christ the King in paradise. Now that's something worth celebrating!
A happy Easter to all!