It’s just after midnight, Easter morning. In a few hours I’ll be taking my family to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Christ. This is church attendance is not just a once or twice a year thing. It’s a weekly event. More than that, the study of scripture and conversation about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are regular events in our household.
Why? Why do I believe that some guy who was tortured to death almost 2,000 years ago actually came back to life? The reasons are many. But more importantly is the desire to believe. Why do I want to believe this? That’s the more interesting question.
The theological, and largely unhelpful, reason is that God Himself gave me the desire to believe. Perhaps more helpful is the look at the means by which He did this.
I believe that Jesus died for my sin and came back to live on the third day because I am a worm. I am a horrible, wicked person, totally depraved in thought, word, and deed. I need a savior. I need someone to save me from myself. And I’m not alone.
Humans are not by nature good. Any parent should understand that. We did not have to teach our children to misbehave. They come by that naturally. And if we examine our own hearts honestly, we will realize our own selfishness, pettiness, darkness, evil… No. We are not good.
There are those who ask, “If God is so good and all knowing, then why do bad things happen to good people?” My reply is that there is no such thing as a good person. No, the correct question to ask is, “If God is so good and all knowing, then why am I still alive? Why has he not yet wiped me off the face of the earth?”
The answer to that is Jesus. And Jesus’ self sacrifice was not because I was worthy of anything. Not at all. If there is any good in me in the least, then it is solely because of God’s grace. Not only does every good and perfect gift come down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, but any good and righteous thought or feeling also come from that same God.
And as I contemplate this amazing day, this day of amazing grace I am humbled and brought to tears. Tears of absolute joy and gratitude for being the recipient of something I have no business claiming or owning: Forgiveness.
All my evil is washed away, my torn and soiled clothing is replaced with new, clean garments. My soul is purified and justified completely, entirely, 100% because of what Jesus Christ has done. And there is hope. The resurrection means I can be brought back from the dead. This walking corpse can breath free. This evil man can be redeemed. And so I am.
All because of who Jesus Christ is and what Jesus Christ has done, is doing, and will continue to do.