Easter is significant for any church. It is the most distinctly Christ-centered holiday. It focuses on the life and death of Christ which purchased the church as His bride. It is a celebration of Jesus’ triumph over sin and death – the decisive victory in the great battle between good and evil. “D-Day has occurred; V-Day is assured,” wrote Oscar Cullman.
This was our first Easter together. 114 people gathered for worship. Many of them were friends and family, for whom we’ve been praying. The most memorable part for me was Tyler’s story: from a place of spiritual death a year ago to spiritual life and union with Christ this year. That’s why we exist. That’s what the mission of God is about.
It was great to worship and celebrate and feast on Christ together. May this be the first of many. Happy Easter, Coram Deo!
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So my day after the service was in Oakland, IA with the g-parents, eating ham and cherry pie. Lo me gusta muchisimo.
On the drive home, Lane, Judith, and I were discussing the message. I really appreciated the points you made, especially the unique quality of the Christian view of God and justice. I like it when I can logically understand God, which in my experience is infrequent, so nice job with that, too.
However, something didn’t feel right. Candidly, it felt a lot more like a Good Friday message (think the penalty and sacrifice for sin) than an Easter morning message (resurrection). In fact, I didn’t hear much of anything about His rising to life, and most troubling of all, I can’t understand logically how he could or why he needed to. Lane and Judith (especially Judith- they must’ve handed out free Bibles at Grace, or something) pointed out the scriptural backing for the connection between my salvation and Christ’s resurrection. I know the answer, but logically, I don’t know how to get there. If He took my sin on the cross, aren’t I holy then? How can God’s wrath against me last eternity, while when it is focus on Christ it lasts only three days?
Afraid of heresy,
Here’s a start: you are finite, Jesus is infinite. What does that say about the level of your punishment vs. the level of his? Give that a day of pondering and see if it mitigates any of your questions.
In an attempt to elucidate our sunday argument more fully, here are a few of the questions we were debating:
Did Christ take our sin away on the cross and leave us sinless? If so, do we need the resurrection for eternal life? Why, since death would no longer have claim to us (since we are without sin)?
Alternatively, if we share in Christ’s death, in effect dying on the cross with Him, why are we spared hell before being raised with Him? If we are with Him in death, are we apart from Him in punishment?
Does Christ’s death justify us ,or does His resurrection justify us?
Here’s one I have, that wasn’t part of the argument: did Jesus suffer punishment during those three days in hell, or did he just walk through the gates and start laying a once-for-all-time demon beatdown for 72 hours, like I picture?
These questions are admittedly pedantic, and may not be answerable at all as they attempt to assign the miracle to one step or the other in the “Christ has died, Christ has risen” chain of events… but are ‘logical’ ones, prompted by the topic of the sermon. Care to take a stab at them, Bob?