Articles
« Back
Good Gracious April 2019 - The Celebration of the Cross and the Resurrection
by Pastor Jonathan
I suppose I’m not the first one to tell you that there is more than a little irony in celebrating our Lord and Saviour being tortured to death. I don’t think we actually celebrate his pain. We celebrate the result of his personal sacrifice. We celebrate his paying the price of our sins so that we would not have to pay that price with eternal separation from God. We celebrate his initiative and pro-activity in dealing with a problem that many of us never even knew that we had: the sin problem. This is the problem that a Holy God cannot be in relationship with a sinful, rebellious person. It takes a sacrifice to atone for such a sin problem, and thus the Old Covenant had a series of many kinds of sacrifices to deal with our sin problem. All of these sacrifices are culminated and taken care of by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of Himself. Jesus makes a way for us know God. Jesus is that way. So we invite people into relationship with Him. He is the Cornerstone of our Christian faith. He is the reason we celebrate Christmas and Easter and every Sunday. He has given so much for us, that we need to keep listening to understand what He has given us and how he has accomplished it for us. Jesus is for us.

So it is more than appropriate to mark the day of his being tortured to death. We must understand how comprehensive the cost of his decision to become a human being among us was to Him personally. We must mark the day that He gave Himself for us. That day was the darkest the world has known. The devil thought he had won his battle against God, and would now have full reign on the earth. He did not.

And so we call that Friday “Good.” But there is so much pain and injustice in the sentencing, torturing and physical death of our Lord, that I find it difficult at times to use that word "Good." I hope you understand. I use the word and I understand that Jesus’ sacrifice and opening the door to relationship with God makes it "Great" or "Fantastic." But our ancestors and we call it Good Friday. I hope you can make our service. It is an important time to worship, and to meet at the foot of the Cross. We spend that service time with our friends from Bilberry Baptist, here at Grace, April 19 at 11 am.

The Sunday of the Resurrection which was given the name Easter, not a biblical word, (a wrong translation of pascha= ‘passover’ in the KJV; Acts 12:4) but a word referring to the festival of the vernal (spring) equinox, and even the word "east" which refers to the place where the sun rises. It is fitting in that the Son rises!

Easter is the time that the culture celebrates with bunnies, chickies and chocolates. While we may understand that Spring celebration and partly participate. Nevertheless, the greatest part of what we celebrate is our Lord’s victory over death. No celebration could be more fitting. We should be passionate in our celebration of Jesus’ conquering that which we fear most, our own personal demise. For indeed, Jesus has "…freed those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." (Hebrews 2:15) What an amazing event Easter is. We can proclaim this Good News to all who would accept Jesus as their Master and Teacher. So we once again, we seek to worship Him on the day of His Resurrection (which is celebrated every Sunday), and especially on Easter Sunday, here at Grace April 21, at 10:30 am.

We trust you will make this April a special part of your celebrations by attending Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Did I mention we will also celebrate the initiation of the Lord’s Supper with Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday? That celebration is Thursday, April 18 at 7 pm. Take time out of your busy lives, and experience anew what Jesus has done for you. Invites others as you feel led.

God bless you.