Thursday, April 13, 2017

refuse to sell-out this easter

don't sell-out this easter.

don't hijack the holiday.

don't fall for the exchange.

the world would have you trade the extravagant love expressed through the bloody, beaten, jesus on the cross...  and the glorious empty tomb that represents victory over death...  for a bunch of nonsense.

i'm not judging you.  its up to every christian what to participate in (and what not to) when it comes to this stuff.  for sure, our family's approach to christian holidays has developed over time.

however, i do plead this of you:  don't sell-out.  don't fall for it.  don't confuse your kids.  don't make this glorious weekend about the easter bunny, easter eggs, new clothes, and horrendous bonnets.

don't give such value to something that doesn't deserve it.

as christians, why can't this weekend be about celebrating jesus and nothing more?  why do we have to add anything else?  why water down the best story in the history of the world?

after (willingly) bearing all of our sin... and (willingly) accepting an inhumane and barbaric death...  a glorious exchange was made.  his perfect and sinless life - for our forgiveness, freedom, and salvation.  3 days later he overcame death, allowing us to be born again to the living hope in Christ Jesus!  1 peter 1:3

amazingly, the book of isaiah (ch 53), written over 700 years before the birth of Jesus, prophesied his death and resurrection in detail.  the fact that, from the very beginning, this was God's plan to save the world is nothing short of astounding.

how he watched his son being crushed, spit on, beaten, and tortured is beyond me.  why was it necessary?  couldn't there have been another way to make an exchange for our sin?  some other way that we could attain forgiveness and salvation?

the fact is- all of us deserve wrath and punishment for our sin.  God in his infinite grace provided a way for his wrath to be avoided; a way for us to be reconciled to him.  the Way?  through the sacrificial death of his son Jesus as the payment for our sins.  it is through faith in him, as the perfect sacrifice, that we can be reconciled to God.  its only through the death and resurrection of Jesus, that a sinner deserving of hell can be saved.

the wonderful truth of the gospel is that christians are saved from punishment, not because "we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 john 4:10

and we get more excited about chocolate bunnies??????

lets not get distracted!  our God is a jealous God.  i can't imagine that he'd be pleased when we justify the celebration of his death and resurrection (the most important accomplishment in the history of the world, and the foundation of everything we live for), with easter eggs and new dress clothes.

don't do it.


here's a few resources for celebrating easter:
1. luke 24
2. 1 peter 1:3
3. romans 5:8
4. john 3:16
5. isaiah 53
6. 1 corinthians 11:23-26
1. The Passion of the Christ
2. The Bible Miniseries, Episodes 9&10 (Mark Burnett)
3. The Son of God (Chris Spencer)