Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Christmas Story….Completed

In just a few days we will celebrate Easter Sunday, more than 2,000 years since the first Easter Sunday was observed by the disciples and more than 500 other witnesses. It is this event, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior that is the pinnacle of the Christian faith. It is also this event that makes the birth of the Savior significant for without the resurrection His birth, life, ministry, and death are all rendered meaningless. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 that “if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty…we are of all men the most pitiable.”

Perhaps no truer words of the significance of the resurrection were ever spoken. Even the harshest critics of the resurrection of Christ have to admit that if He did indeed rise than death truly holds no power for those that put their faith and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. In fact, no other world religion offers a Living God. All of their gods are dead in their graves with no power to help their followers either here on earth or in the life to come.

Not too long ago I saw a television program on the rise of the Muslim religion across the world. At one point, they interviewed a Muslim man about the difference between his religion and Christianity. The man said that the two religions are very different not so much in their practice but in their belief regarding salvation. He said that Islam does not offer a personal Savior like Christianity that forgives men for their sins with no effort on their part. He said it is on this basis alone (human achievement vs. grace of God) that the two religions differ greatly. And I would also add that it is this fact that elevates the work of Christ above everyone else.

The Bible tells us the God loved us and died for us, “while we were yet sinners.” (Romans 5:8) Did you catch that? God loved us while we were sinners and at enmity toward Him. I often think that the first question I will ask God when I see Him is, “Why did you love us so much?” It is this very love that compelled him to take off His God-hood (Philippians 2:5-8) and become man in order to provide redemption for mankind – something we could not do on our own.

So, as we approach Easter Sunday and contemplate the resurrection of Jesus, let’s make it a point to share this Good News with others. I just heard the other day that there is talk of changing the name of “Easter” to something else because it is too Christian sounding. Very sad indeed, but not surprising given the state of our nation these days. But no matter the name, we as believers in the One who resurrected know its significance, so go out and proclaim it boldly, always sharing it with others in love.

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