On Friday I spoke of the death and burial of Christ. I went to a Good Friday service with my girlfriend that evening, and it was an excellent portrayal of the depth of Jesus’ agony on the cross as he took the sins of all humanity upon himself, all the while experiencing the wrath of God in punishment for sin. That day was the darkest in all of history, because God himself gave up his life in sacrifice for sinful man. God incarnate hung naked on a cross, beaten, bloody and bruised. He gasped for breath, fighting just to exhale. Professional executioners gathered around to mock him, gamble for his clothes and inflict as much pain as possible upon him, ultimately stabbing him with a spear and leaving him to die. He was taken down from the cross, that instrument of torture, and was laid in a tomb, never to walk the earth again — so thought his executioners. The good news is that they were wrong.
Christ did not remain in that grave. He defeated death and sin, and he lives and reigns in power today. It is a divine paradox that God would use death itself to defeat death. This is of the utmost importance; as the Apostle Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins“. It is through the resurrection of Christ that we are able to experience redemption from sins and fellowship with God.
I went to an Easter service this morning, and the mood could not have been more different from Friday. There was a solemn, somber feeling on Friday, but this morning it was joyful, thankful and exuberant. Friday we remembered the darkness and weight of Jesus’ sacrifice, today we remembered the joy, light and hope that his resurrection offers us.
Because of Christ’s resurrection, we can enjoy fellowship with him for eternity. We can know the true peace that comes from a right relationship with him and from following him. If you don’t know this peace, I challenge you to take a step of obedience and put your trust in Christ. It’s as simple as acknowledging that you are a sinner, repenting of your sins and asking Christ to forgive you and restore you to a right relationship with him. There is no formula to it, no skill or merit of yours required. Trust in Christ and in his work of redemption. I challenged you to consider on Friday, now I challenge you to act. Do not take this lightly.
In love and grace,