I asked our chapter leader and ordained Pastor Willard High to share the good news about Christ’s death and Reconciliation for our Easter letter.
Life, Death, Resurrection and Peace
The Easter Season reminds us that God loves us so much that he changed the course of nature and interrupted his divine life to come into our temporal physical world within our human history. He came as God but also as one of us (human) to show us how to be “human” (something we had failed utterly to do) and to open up eternal salvation. In so doing, he gave us life. We were sinful enemies of God and as good as dead! This is true because God’s penalty for lawless living is death (Col. 2:9-15, Romans 6:20-23).
God gave us new life through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). To accomplish this, the Father sent the Word, who was God, as an infant clothed in our flesh. He lived the sinless life we could not live and died for all of his creation: humans, animals, all living things, and the whole universe. We know this because the manifestation of the sons of God brings freedom and rejoicing from the decayed universe (Romans 8:18-23). Creation went into decay as a result of the sins of the Evil One and Adam and Eve, but God Himself came to undo all that and bring us life and peace.
Unfortunately, this reversal and healing required Jesus’ death, which He willingly gave, though it was one of the most painful and humiliating deaths imaginable. We should not forget that Jesus was born as a human into our sinful society. Yet he lived a perfect life, which meant as God He could die for everything that he himself had created (John 1:1-4). Our new life began because of his unimaginable sacrifice. He was the Word sent from the Father, made flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-35, John1:14). God came from outside our world and became one of us within our world, time, space and history. We received an unequalled gift which moved us from death to life because God is love.
When on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished,” it his redeeming work was complete but the plan was still a work in progress. Early Sunday morning he was resurrected by the Spirit of God and the Father! At that time, he assumed forevermore his priestly role as Mediator and High Priest. As God, not only did he make peace between God, man and the Creation – he brought peace between us and our neighbors. The Peace authored by God is Reconciliation (1 John 4:7-16; 2 Cor. 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:1-22). God in Jesus by his life, death and resurrection, mediation and through the working of the Holy Spirit has reconciled all things to himself and brought us peace.
Therefore, those of us who claim Jesus as LORD must throw off the old corrupted ways, even if they were inherited from our beloved parents and ancestors. We must repent of abusive and disrespectful thoughts, words and actions committed against one another and of passively going along with evil (Galatians 3:26-29). We are made in the image of the God who is love, created to love one another. God has called and chosen us to acknowledge and live this new reconciled way of life as his beloved children, brothers and sisters of the King and witnesses of the grace and goodness of God. ~ Willard High, Pastor Emeritus
Jannice and I hope you had a good Passover and we wish you and your families a wonderful Easter. Thank you again for all your support and prayers for the ministry.