Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Day In Between

Last year, I wrote an article for the Hutchinson News that was published the Saturday in between Good Friday & Easter. I thought I would repost it here today. I actually received some negative emails about this article back when it published. I looked for a link to it, but couldn't find one. So here it is.

The Day In Between

This past month has been fairly important in my life. I successfully defended a doctoral dissertation, which means that you can now call me Dr. Thad (but please don’t). I also had a book published which I called Helping Johnny Listen. It is a book that I wrote to help people listen to preaching, something that is desperately needed and rarely talked about. Regardless of how important these events were, neither of them comes close to how important this weekend is in my life.

Today is the day in between. It is the day in between what should be the two most important days in any Christian’s life. It is the day in between the celebration of the horrible death of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection. I want to tell you why these two days mean more to me than finishing a doctorate or writing a book.

Yesterday, the Christian community celebrated the death of Jesus. In a tragic event, the only person to ever live that had never done anything wrong in this world was put to a violent, torturous, heinous death that only the worst criminal endured. Yet it was necessary! From the beginning of time, God showed that death is the appropriate punishment for sin. We are told that “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22). Throughout the Old Testament, the death that temporally appeased God was an animal, which was part of the sacrificial system. This system looked forward to the Lamb of God, Jesus, who eventually came to this earth, lived a perfect life, and “died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet 3:18). The death of Jesus, no matter how horrific it was, is the plan God had to bring people back into a relationship with Him. It made a relationship with God possible for me, which is why it is more important than any doctorate or book.

Tomorrow, the Christian community will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It is glorious because that heinous death did not end the message of Jesus. He came back to life and proved once for all His power over death and sin. Because Jesus is alive, we can say with Paul “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting” (1 Cor 15:55)? The resurrection of Jesus makes our faith mean something, because we do not worship a dead Lord (1 Cor 15:12–19). The resurrection of Jesus makes it possible for me to never fear death, which is why it is more important than any doctorate or book.

Is there anything that means more to you in this life than what these two days stand for? Is there anything more important to you than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Is there anything greater than salvation from sin and future glorification in heaven with your Savior? My prayer on this day in between these two great days is that all people will realize how important these days are, to the glory of Jesus!

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