By Chris Denning
In case you aren’t aware of it, this weekend is Easter. I know, its nuts that it’s April already.
Easter is a big deal in the church, and you might be curious why. I mean, I understand the “big deal-ness” of it theologically and personally, but why is Easter a time where people feel drawn to the Church?
Honestly, I think the answer is simple: Easter is a time of great hope.
The story of Easter is filled with great sorrow, pain and agony, yet people are still drawn to it. Even with the graphic brutality that is native to Jesus’ journey from the Garden to Calvary, we want to hear the whole story.
While the larger plot points of the Easter story are filled with violence, the details are filled with hope. There are the little moments Jesus has with people along his way to the cross. Moments where he should be afforded some degree of selfishness, but instead chooses to love and serve.
But that’s the appeal of Jesus, isn’t it? Lets look simply at the man of Jesus for a moment. Yes, He was fully God which is innately attractive, but what about his humanity?
I think Jesus’ humanity is what draws us to Him at Easter. He was presented with temptation and situations much like we are in our every day life. The only difference is Jesus always chose love. He always chose to give hope. He always chose to do what was right.
Even in the face of intense pain and unjust conviction, Jesus still chose to love and to be obedient to His Father. I wish I could say that I know that I would do the same, but I know myself too well. I feel like that is a thought buried in each of our hearts too.
We’re drawn to Jesus because He’s the best of what we could be. He is the best of what people can be. Not in a 1st, 2nd, 3rd kinda best, but in a giving your best kinda way. His excellence in His life honored God and inspired others (even today) to live like Him.
And ultimately, Jesus did all He did at Easter to provide hope. Hope in salvation. Hope in life. Hope after this life. Hope for when everything seems insurmountable. Jesus provided hope.
When He said “it is finished” on the cross, He provided the ultimate expression of hope: His life poured out so that we might truly live.
Jesus didn’t come to make our lives easier or to prove that anyone was better than others. He came because God saw reality, and reality looked like this:
- God created all things, including man, and we turned our backs on Him.
- Our sin, or transgression against Him, created an uncrossable gap between us and God.
- No sacrifice was enough to cover our sins, so God had to offer His Son to provide a way.
- Jesus willingly lived a perfect life, as fully God, fully man, to offer himself as the perfect sacrifice.
- Jesus’ death provided the way to connect us and God, not by our actions, but by Jesus’ provision.
That is hope. When we were without options and without an ability to help ourselves, Jesus provided everything we could not attain ourselves. In our darkest time, He was our perfect light.
This weekend, we’re going to be looking at what “it is finished” really means, and why that matters for our lives today. We are praying for God to do some big things, and can’t wait to see how He moves in our time together!
This is the PERFECT opportunity for you to bring your Top 5 with you to Journey, not so that you can sucker them into coming to church with you, but because they will be able to hear this simple message of hope.
Do everything you can to bring these people with you, because we are preparing to see God do incredible things this weekend. Pray with us to see every single one of our friend’s stories changed this weekend, by the story of hope that is Jesus.