A few years ago a very prominent pastor was asked why there was no cross hanging anywhere in his church. His response was, “I find it difficult to reduce Christianity down to just one symbol or icon.” I was dumbfounded at that statement. I don’t find it difficult to recognize one symbol that represents Christianity at all, do you? The cross is what the Easter celebration is all about. Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday. This is the day that gives us all great hope. Because of the cross, we look forward to Jesus’ second coming.
a pastor’s post on Face Book that questioned why so many pastors got all
excited about Easter, and why they called it the biggest Sunday of the year. He
wondered why all 52 Sundays weren’t equal. The truth of the matter is this: If
it wasn’t for the resurrection, friends, no one would care about the other 51
Sundays – they would simply have no meaning.
days ago, we had a Good Friday (Tenebrae) Service. Good Friday is a look at the
crucifixion of Christ. It’s the sad or sober part of Easter. But yesterday was
Resurrection Sunday. Jesus is no longer on the cross! He is alive and well and
living in the presence of His Father and in the hearts of His followers! In
either case, the cross is the most recognizable symbol of Christianity in the
world. We believe in the cross and all that it symbolizes. Though Easter
is about the cross, it’s really about the empty cross. That is the most
celebrated image we have in all of Christianity.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For
the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved it is the power of God.” The cross is the power of God. It is God’s
sign to the world that death, hell and the grave cannot limit His power. God
has the ability and the power to raise us from the dead. That is the essence of
the Good News.
Hebrews 2:14 “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil…” We have a message to share with the world, and that is that they can be set free from the one who holds the power of death – the devil.
Jesus saw/knew that we were made up of flesh and blood so He took part of the same. In other words the Word of God became flesh and blood and dwelt among us. That’s the Christmas story - but that is not the sum total of the Good News. The Good News is not just that Jesus came to live with man, but rather, through His death and resurrection, we can now be set free from our sins and the fear of death.
Hebrews 2:15 “… and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Jesus came to destroy the one who held the power of death and to free those who, all their lives have been held in slavery to that fear. That is our message! The very fact that Christ was resurrected by the power of God from death means that God accepted His offering for our sins and has allowed Him back into His presence.
That is the Good News! Jesus was resurrected, which means that His offering for our sins is satisfactory to God and anyone applying His sacrifice to their own lives means their sins are forgiven and that they have been set free from the one who had the power of death.