Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Sunday at JPJ

There is a picture of me as a little girl going to a church event where a person was dressed up as an Easter Bunny. I was put in this person's lap, took one look at the "bunny" and burst into tears. A lovely picture was taken to capture this moment.

Is this what Easter is all about? Bunnies? A celebration of springtime?

I also remember becoming a Christian. I understood that Jesus was God. He lived a perfect life and taught about His Father- saying that those who know Jesus know His Father. God the Father asked Jesus to take on all the sin of the world and be the propitiation for our sins. Make the payment for sin that we could never pay. For you see, the wages of sin is death. Jesus asked His Father to take this cup from Him because Jesus knew how big of a price this was to pay. Jesus knew the plan. God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believe in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life. That Jesus is the way, the truth, and life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. Jesus knew that without paying the penalty for our sin, there would be no way and no eternal life for us. So, He died. He paid what we could never pay. He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way, but God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. So, how are we to know that this death paid for our sin? Easy. Jesus triumphed over it. He rose again. Therefore as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. Jesus' resurrection is a sign of what happens in our heart when we believe in Him. A sign that He really can overcome death and therefore overcome sin. We are made new. Made as if we never sinned. We are as close to God and His faithfulness, gentleness, and love as Jesus is. That because we know Jesus, we know His Father. Christ Jesus is the one who died- more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God who is indeed interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus became my Lord the day I became a Christian.

That is what Easter is a celebration of. Spring is just a hint of that. Once you have the Holy Spirit, you see the gospel in everything. God is continually pointing to himself. In our hearts, in creation, in our circumstances. He wants us to know Him. Spring is a time of renewal. Of coming out of winter and coldness into life and new things. Just like coming to know Jesus. 

So, decide this Easter. Will you celebrate the bunnies and eggs only or will you celebrate with the angels in heaven? Will you decide for yourself if Jesus could be what He said He was? 

My church is hosting an Easter service at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA. Come and hear about Jesus. See His people and His church. Look into what Jesus is about. Look into His heart. For yourself. It will be the biggest decision you have ever made. 

I will be there. I hope to see you too. 


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