Today’s Celebration

There is a God, our God to be precise, Who is absolutely whole in and of Himself. He lived that way from eternity: God, the eternal Father; Jesus, the Son, eternally begotten of the Father and the Spirit, eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. They were complete and nothing needed to be added.

In His gracious love, though, God decided to share all He is with creatures of His own making. That would be us. He made us a beautiful world full of many things to make us happy. He gave us work to do in tending the earth. And, He gave us one simple rule; do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He did all this knowing what would happen. Knowing, as He had always known, that we would mess up the whole thing. Which, of course, we did. First Eve and then Adam ate the fruit. God is just and holy. He had to send us into exile from His presence.

But, God is also merciful and loving. Even as He created man, he had a plan for the redemption of those He loves. This was a plan of such magnitude that only God could have devised it. One would die for all. One Perfect Sacrifice. Only One was a candidate for this, the Son. Would He do it? Could He bear to do it?

The Son agreed. He was born as all humans are, of a mother. He grew as all humans do, passing through each stage of life in the same way as all the others around Him. Finally, it came time to begin His mission. Christ began teaching and preaching all throughout Israel. Many followed Him for the miracles He did, but some believed in His teachings. There were, however, some who felt threatened by Him. They were, as is so often the case, those who held power over others. The religious leaders of the day did not like the people to hear about a God of mercy and love. They taught that God was full of vengeance and wrath, ever ready to punish. It gave them a hold over the people as only they could grant forgiveness. They, along with others, plotted to have Jesus killed. Their plot was a success and Christ was crucified, died and was buried. For the first time in all eternity, the Son was separated from the Father and the Spirit, Who could not bear the presence of the sin He bore on our behalf. The leaders insisted that His tomb be guarded so that His followers not “fake” the resurrection He had spoken of.

Three days later, the tomb was empty. The guards, who saw the whole thing, were bribed to say that the disciples stole the body while the guards slept. The leaders who were behind this must have held great power because the penalty for sleeping on duty was death and none of the guards were killed. Christ appeared to many after His death and was shown to be alive and in a body. He was NOT a ghost.

Today, we rejoice that the Son offered Himself in our place on “Good Friday” and the Father said, “It is enough!” on “Easter”. We need not do any more. Anything else we do in the way of service to our God is only an expression of love and gratitude. The moment we accepted Christ’s sacrifice as our own, we were saved from the penalty of our sin. We are FREE. Free as no other people have ever been or ever will be. Let us not waste or hide that freedom. Let us, instead, live it in such a way that all will say, “If that is how their Jesus makes them behave and love, I WANT THEIR JESUS!!”.

May you have a blessed Easter!~~TSG

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