As we enter in to the Easter season we are reminded of new life. The rains will come and the garden centers open back up and we are going to be enticed to purchase the plants and flowers. It is a beautiful time of year. It brings hope of what is to come. Warmth and sunshine and the promise of summer in the not to distant future.
It is also a reminder to Christians of what Christ has accomplished for us. Taking of punishment for our sin. The Bible declares the “wages of sin is death”. And it is. We are spiritually dead to God. Humanity no longer seeks after God. Romans 310-12 tells that no one is righteous and no one seeks after God. The Good News is that even though our love for God ceased, His love for us did not. Even though world is under God’s judgment of choosing for themselves right and wrong and living with the consequences we see each day, with injustice and pain and suffering, yet, God is still drawing people to Himself.
God has demonstrated His Own love towards us in that while we yet sinners, Christ died for us. For God to forgive us; He had to accept the wrong done to Him AND bear the consequences of those sins WITHOUT retaliation or bitter feelings. That God would let His Own Son take our punishment upon Himself and shed His blood… it’s unbelievable.
When you understand the heart of God you begin to realize that God’s desire is not to suppress rebels, He could easily have done that be dispensing judgment immediately. Every time you sped your tire would come off your car. Every time you took a cookie from the cookie jar a finger would fall off. But desires for us to see His heart of grace and mercy to the guilty.
His heart is to subdue our pride so that we might once again enjoy, not only His fellowship, but return to His rule over our lives as in the garden of Eden.
This is not you just recognizing and fixating on how BAD you are, but just take look at how GOOD God is.
Jesus came and wrapped His divinity in humanity and lived the only perfect life ever lived. He was sinless. He made Himself available to become the Sinless Spotless Lamb of God that could take away the sins of the world.
When Jesus was on the cross and said, “It is finished”, the just and righteous nature of God was satisfied.
It was at that point that God was “set free” to deal with humanity in love without having to violate His own integrity and holiness and righteousness. The punishment for sin was paid. The sinner, you and I, were set free from His just punishment and can approach knowing that He desires for us to be reconciled.
Jesus rising from the dead proved the penalty was fully paid, and New Life can be given.
Salvation is granted to those that come to repentance… turn from sin and put their TRUST, their faith, in Christ Jesus… Hell will never reform a rebellious heart … but at the cross a rebellious heart is softened and captured and turned from stone to flesh…
We can come to God in repentance, forsaking our sins and recognizing all He has accomplished that we could NEVER do.
His blood becomes the cleansing agent for our sins, that though they were as scarlet, they can be made as white as snow.
The Cross is the ONLY place where JUSTICE and MERCY came together… and the only place sins are forgiven. And Easter helps us see God’s goodness.
The writer is the pastor of the Cornerstone Assembly of God in Sidney.