Reforming church, culture and our city

Reforming church, culture and our city

Posts Tagged ‘death of Jesus

Easter in Sydney

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Three things come to mind when people in our city think of Easter – the long weekend, chocolate easter eggs and the Easter show. On the odd occasion people will connect Easter with Jesus. If pushed they might even say that it’s about the death of Jesus. Easter was originally celebrated as a one of two ‘holy’ days that Christians observed i.e. days that Christians set aside to remember, reflect and celebrate aspects of Jesus life and work. What in our day is a public holiday to kick back, relax and have a barbeque, was actually a ‘holyday’ set aside to remember Jesus’ life and work. In fact, Easter was not necessarily a joyful or festive celebration. Beginning on Friday you recall Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, before you celebrate his resurrection on Sunday. Easter was an opportunity to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus.

That should be no surprise as the death and resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of what Christians have always believed. Christianity is not about learning to be a morally good person; it’s not about doing good works to earn your way into heaven; it’s not about what we do. Authentic Christianity is all about what Jesus has done, in particular, his death and resurrection for me.

At Easter we remind ourselves of very important news, good news that saves: that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised to life on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor.15:3-4). We’re reminded that there is nothing we can do to pay or to make up for or to take away our sins. We are sinful and rebellious people i.e. we are people who have lived our lives ignoring our creator, choosing to live lives our own way, with no regard for what God thinks and says. That is at the heart of our sin and rebellion, which puts us under God’s right and fair judgment. If you’re living life apart from God, you are condemned, under his judgment and in danger of hell. And that’s the reason why Jesus died. He died as our substitute taking our place on the cross, bearing our judgment and punishment for us. He died in my place and your place, for our sin and rebellion. A great exchange takes place at the cross where Jesus died.

But Jesus’ death wouldn’t be very significant if he remained in the grave would he. There would be nothing special about someone who died and remained buried. Jesus was buried, but he also rose from the dead three days after, a demonstration of not just his power over death itself, but of God’s approval of Jesus’ death for our sin. The resurrection of Jesus is the guarantee that our sin and rebellion are forgiven; that our judgment has been dealt with; that we are no longer condemned; and that death will not be the last word for us. He is alive and risen, and is the man God has chosen to rule and judge our city and our world.

Authentic Christianity celebrates and remembers what Jesus has done, in particular, his death for our sin and his resurrection from the dead. We are reminded at Easter that we are sinful and rebellious people who cannot do anything to save ourselves. We are reminded at Easter that we are under God’s judgment and in danger of hell. We are reminded at Easter that Jesus died as a substitute for our sin and rebellion, taking on himself God’s judgment to save us. We are reminded at Easter that without Jesus we are condemned. We are reminded at Easter that Jesus has risen from the dead and is now the ruler and judge of our city and our world. We are reminded at Easter that not only do we need Jesus, our city needs Jesus.

The great tragedy this Easter, is that in our city the vast majority of people will remain under God’s judgment, condemned and destined for hell because they have never heard an authentic Christian message; they have never acknowledged their sin; and they have never acknowledged their need for Jesus.

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

Rom.10:15

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Written by eugenehor

March 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm