Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The best way to export an idea is to wrap it up in a person. I believe, based on the Bible, that God did precisely. He sent a babe into our world, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, cradled him in a manger, and we call that Christmas.
Growing into manhood, Jesus learned the all-important lessons about God’s love for humanity, and of God’s hatred of all that distorts and destroys humanity. Experiencing the love of God as Jesus did, he took up the way of the cross--died. We call that Good Friday. What some did not know or recognize, SUNDAY WAS COMING.
Some days after that first Easter Sunday, the disciple Peter told a Jerusalem audience, This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men (Acts 2:23). Life for Jesus included a cross, but he ultimately exchanged that crown of thorns he wore at his crucifixion for a crown of everlasting life. NOW, He offers it to as many as will receive it.
As Peter told that same audience, “But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it (Acts 2:24). Easter is more than the climax of the Christian calendar, the apex of the Christian teaching; it is the hinge on which all of history swings.
Go anywhere that humanity has thrived and progressed and see who-or-what made the most difference. It is in those countries where the influence of Jesus has been most felt that human culture has made the most progress. It is in those places that have been most influenced by the teaching of Jesus that we see the most remarkable differences from the rest of the culture.
Where Christ has gone, hospitals, schools, orphanages, leper asylums, homes for the blind, nurses and doctors have appeared. Where Christ has gone, prosperity and plenty have followed without regard to politics. Where Christ has gone, beggars have disappeared, homes have raised up and filled, and the comforts of life have come most readily.
Where Christ has gone law has taken over and justice has been exercised. Where Christ has gone women have been exalted, educated, reverenced and loved. Christian marriage has replaced polygamy. Where Christ has gone life has value and is protected as something sacred. Most generally, prosperity has been protected, and individuals have enjoyed more opportunities to develop business and prosper. In effect, they have been most able to care for their families and leave something to them.
Some attribute this to the American dream, but there is more to the story than that! It is the Christian gospel that appeared first as Christmas, then showed itself as Easter, that has made the major difference in human history. Eventually, when Jesus comes to claim his church, and God judges between the living/dead, and the Kingdom of God is most fully realized, the difference will then be fully realized.
What would life in our world be worth, had Jesus not appeared at Bethlehem?
And had he not gone to Calvary?
What would your life be worth without his story?
What would your life and property be worth in a churchless community?
What would daily life be like in a world where no Jesus-followers came teaching that life is more livable when people are loveable and peaceable?
What would life be without Easter to deter us from populating our world with rich fools and educated fiends?
From Warner’s World, I wonder, “What would life be without Easter?”
This is walkingwithwarner.blogspot.com