But what does this have to do with Easter?
Unfortunately today, the saving message of Easter is too confronting, so it is packaged in fluffy bunnies (or bilbies in Australia), and chocolate. Easter eggs may represent new life, but the new life is more about the chicken hatching from an egg, than new life through the Cross. I am surprised ( am I really surprised?) with the amount of violence on TV which people must watch or otherwise the shows would be cancelled, but when it comes to religion, especially Christianity, people expect warm fuzzies and stories which make them feel good. ‘Most people want to respect Jesus as a teacher, as an example of how we should live, but they do not want Jesus to be God, particularly a God who dies and rises again.’ ( John Harris.)
At Easter, we come face to face with a very gruesome but wonderful message of Jesus taking the punishment for our wrong doing/sin. Jesus ensured his message was very clear from the beginning of his ministry – ‘I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me’. ( John 14:6). For a person to be forgiven and become part of God’s family, there is no avoiding the cross – Jesus’ death and resurrection. Nothing we can do will earn us God’s love and without asking God’s forgiveness for our sins, there is no salvation/eternal life. Jesus, who did no wrong, was punished (on the cross) instead of us, so great is his love for all people.
I recently read an article in a Christian magazine ‘Eternity’ , which talked about the ‘Vible’, describing it as ‘the summary of the moral teachings that people adhere to today. It’s a semi-organised, fairly contemporary, unwritten set of guidelines that allow you to feel like a decent human being.’ I thought that to be a very succinct description of how a lot of people avoid Christianity and the story of the Cross.
For the many people who genuinely want to do the right by others, and thus hope to earn eternal life by being a good person ( there is nothing wrong with being a good person), they avoid dealing with the initial problem of sin, just as the doctor failed to immediately deal with the boy’s boil. The message of Easter is the centre or focal point of Christianity and cannot be avoided if we want to be part of God’s family and have eternal life.
I wish you a very Blessed Easter Celebration.