We all like things made simple – so here’s the traditional Easter story, the story of the Bible, condensed into a few verses of rhyme and stick figure.
She cheated on him.
He loved her. He gave her everything she could want.
But she wanted more. She wanted to be the boss.
It’s how the Easter Story starts – right back at the beginning: a story of him and her. The Bible describes it as a lover’s betrayal – but it’s talking about God and us. He created a beautiful world, perfect satisfaction of every kind, but we left him. We broke the rules. We’ve gone against the loving morals God created for life. In every unkind word, thought or action, we rebel against God.
What happened next? We cut ourselves off from the maker of the universe, and the world we see shows it – war, natural disaster, and human evil – suffering, in this life, and in the next. But …
… He didn’t give up. He didn’t owe her anything, but he loved her. She meant everything to him. He gave everything to get her back.
Wrongs cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet. But she had nothing to give to make it up to the one who had given her everything. So he sent someone to rescue her – to rescue their relationship. Someone to pay for her wrongs. And not just anyone – he paid for them himself.
Easter is the story of the greatest act of forgiveness – a man called ‘Jesus’ (meaning ‘Rescuer’), unjustly executed in AD33. His good life and teaching had created enemies with the religious hypocrits of the day. Even worse to them, he claimed to be God – something incredibly arrogant, unless it were true. But this God came not to condemn – as they were so good at doing – but to serve a human sentence, die a human death, and pay for the things that hurt him most – our wrongs.
He, she – did they meet again?
He forgave. Did she return?
The Easter Story has an open ending, we write it ourselves. Will you keep running, or will you return to the one who loves you more than anyone ever can – the one who gave everything for you – the relationship that makes us truly alive: spiritually, emotionally, physically?
Jesus died and returned from death to prove he really was God’s rescue plan – the one who could take away the sentence we have brought on ourselves. He made it possible for people to do the unthinkable, to become friends with God – forgiven and accepted, in this world and the next – not through our merit but his.
It’s Easter. Are you ready for a new start? Are you ready for a new relationship?
All of us have done wrong, and fallen short of God’s goodness. But God treats us much better than we deserve … Even when we were God’s enemies, he made peace with us, because Christ died for us. From Romans chapters 3:23 and 5:10, The Bible
We’d all like it to be true but is it just wishful thinking? The Bible claims there is evidence for God and the afterlife – not just in a message or sign from God, but something more solid. God entered the world in the form of life itself, as a living person – Jesus of Nazareth. He gave us evidence – even better, a demonstration – of himself and of life after death.
But can we believe it? People just don’t rise from the dead. Wasn’t the idea that Jesus was God just invented later? It sounds outrageous to us, but remember that the God the Bible describes created the laws of physics. If he is to give us evidence of himself, the evidence has to defy these laws and show us there is one who controls them. If it were anything less than miraculous you might accuse God of not giving you good enough evidence to believe. It was meant to be something that doesn’t happen in our normal experience of life.
So is it believable? Jesus is one of, if not the most striking person in history. He made a claim that could only be made by a madman, unless it were true – that he and God were one and the same. Yet he did not behave like a madman – he was able to outwit his opponents with rational arguments and morality that has been admired around the world ever since. Jesus’ divine nature was not decided by a committe hundreds of years later, as one popular novelist recently described. We see him making this claim himself in the eye-witness accounts of his life in the Bible (John 10:30, for example).
And Jesus gave the reason God would do something so unbelievable as becoming man. He said he had come ‘not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Matt 20:28, Mark 10:45) – a perfect God dying a human death, in our place, for our wrongs, to give us a reward that we don’t deserve: heaven. And Jesus demonstrated life after death to prove it.
Has God given us evidence of himself and the afterlife? If he has, then Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is the most obvious sign in human history. It is too important to overlook, too much hangs in the balance. Take the opportunity to find out more.
Enjoy our Easter video …
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