The celebration of the life, death and resurrection of Christ makes no sense apart from the larger history of man’s estranged relationship with his Creator. Those with even the most basic understanding of what the Bible has to say, know that when Adam and Eve chose disobedience, they and their descendants (…that would be all of us…) were removed from the presence of God due to our acceptance of sin.
All too often, we fail to note the way in which the Bible shows the rebelliousness of mankind growing more hardened with each passing generation. This is the context into which I’ll be placing the Resurrection today, having the privilege and responsibility of presenting this important truth on Easter for our adult Bible Study group:
– Adam and Eve’s first child slew their second. Murder–death–did not take long to appear as the consequence of sin’s presence in the human heart.
– In only a few generations, mankind had become so thoroughly corrupt the Bible says God regretted He had created them. What a commentary! Note it doesn’t say He was surprised; only grieved. He knew at the beginning the fellowship He sought with His creation would be found down a road of pain… including the pain of a cross He would eventually bear for us. We can only marvel that He deems us worth it!
– Even after a flood that overturned the world, mankind didn’t get the point for long. God renewed the command to multiply across the face of the earth. What did man do? Hunker down together in a single location, seeking to build both a tower and name for themselves. Pride and disobedience — hallmarks of the sinful nature. God sundered this united hostility to Him by confusing the languages, causing people groups to scatter across the world. Some would seek after Him; others not. Thus did history — His story — proceed.
– And then, after centuries of promise and prophecy, God showed up in person to fix the root cause of the issue. Christ did more than die for our sins–though even that was more than we could ever deserve. He spent the time among us we had been so deprived of ever since the Fall. We heard from God’s own lips of His love for us, His vision for us, His commitment to those who will follow Him.
…and the human race killed him in one of the most cruel ways imaginable.
Still think people are “basically good?”
The resurrection reminds us that God has power over even death. We threw the worst tantrum we could, like a child screaming at and hitting its parent. It hurt Him, yes. But like the wise parent, He looked past the ingratitude and immaturity, seeing the potential for relationship He has placed in each one of us. “Good Friday” buries the past. Easter points to the future — joyous, glorious and eternal. We are all invited, just as a parent invites the love of their child… but cannot command or force it.
And just as the child who is willing to run to their parents’ open arms receives comfort, peace and protection, so too do those who run to the Father. He is preparing a place for us, that where He is, we may also forever be. And we have in the meantime this promise: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow; blessings all mine, and ten thousand beside! Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”