Some may wonder why our publication puts forth articles periodically on Christianity. Where's the synergy? Well, when we started The Outtop, our mission was (and still is) to promote the values and beliefs of Christianity in our writings irregardless of the topic. Underlying all this is that we believe in treating other people the way we would want to be treated. And, in that light, remembering the one who told us to do so (see Matthew 7:12 ). Thus, it seems only appropriate at this time of year to reflect on the cross and what Jesus' death should mean to us. We give Him all the glory.
In the song "In Christ Alone," these words hit home, no more so than at this time of the year: "For I am His, and He is mine, Bought with the precious blood of Christ." Isn't that an awesome reminder of God's love for us? I could end this article right here because this says it all. However, let me go further. During my drive to meet a friend for lunch the other day, I was stewing over the continued unwarranted verbal and physical attacks against Christians. It is impossible to make sense of what is going on today. I can't. It's illogical. Anyone with decency in their heart could not fathom this evil. Yet, it goes on. But during Easter? Then, I wondered how similar today's scenario is with what took place over 2000 years ago when an innocent unblemished man was crucified? How many that day stood before the cross that Jesus hung on and wondered what in the world is going on? How could this have happened to this man? Yet, it was done for the glory of God and the immense love He has for His people. C.S. Lewis states in Mere Christianity that "He is the painter, we are only the picture."
these words hit home, no more so than at this time of the year: "For I am His, and He is mine, Bought with the precious blood of Christ."
Do we comprehend today just how far He went for me, for you? Sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) we take this tremendous show of love for granted. We forget that He went to the plate for us. That He hit a home run off a pitch that was meant to permanently kill Him. He overcame death. He saved us from our sins. Have you looked at the cross lately, whether it be at a church or your home? Almost daily, I drive by the one affixed to the top of our worship center. Looking at its majestic rise in the sky, it is not so much a somber picture but a glad feeling of freedom. Freedom from the shackles of sin.
Here was a freedom journey out of Egypt, initiated and sponsored by God, and the participants were unhappy, disobedient, and complained.
During my drive I thought about the Bible study class I am in - its focus is on Moses and the journey to the Promised Land. Here was a freedom journey out of Egypt, initiated and sponsored by God, and the participants were unhappy, disobedient, and complained. Instead of being content (because everyone was going to win if they just listened and obeyed), they bit the hand that fed them, freed them, and protected them. So what was God to do? His despair must have been great (hence the 40 years of wandering by the Israelites in the wilderness)! He must have wondered many times if they were ever going to get in line with His desires for them. Were they ever going to understand the love He had for His children? Over a thousand years later, His love for His people, for us, would continue with the birth of Jesus - there hasn't been or will be a greater provision from God than His Son, who came into this world:
- To save sinners. (1 Timothy1:15)
- To call sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17)
- To seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10)
- To demonstrate the true purpose of life and to give Himself a ransom. (Matthew 20:28)
- To be a king and bear witness to the truth. (John 18:37)
- To do the will of His Father. (John 6:38)
- To be a light in the world. (John 12:46)
- That men might have the Abundant life. (John 10:10)
- To judge the world. (John 9:39)
- To proclaim or preach the Good News about the Kingdom of God. (Mark 1:38)
- To die on the cross. (John 12:27)
- To fulfill the law. (Matthew 5:17)
- To be a divider of men. (Matthew 10: 34, 35)
- As a demonstration of God's love. (1 John 4:10)
- Because the Father sent Him. (John 20:21)
Many, when asked why Jesus died for them, will say "to save us from our sins." In fact, Romans 3:23 tells us that "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Yet, Isaiah 53:11 says "My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities." We read in Romans 4:25, "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." Who delivered Him? It was the sovereign God who fulfilled His plan of redemption.
So, as we celebrated Easter, what did this Sunday mean to you? Many years ago, the meaning might have been mixed in with an Easter egg hunt, searching for plastic eggs with candy or money inside. It might have been the new Easter dress or suit that we could wear to Sunday School and church. I hope, as we have grown older, we know there is only one meaning for Easter - that our sins have been washed away through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthian 15:22 states "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." We know how far He went for us. How far will you go for Him?
Photo Credit: Ariana Prestes