As Easter comes again, hopefully you have spent some time in midweek Lenten worship services preparing yourself for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Far too often Christians will just show up for Holy Week services and leave out the other services, or worse still only come for Easter morning. Doing so is sort of like coming to a party without any preparation at all. Or, just showing up for the last inning of a ball game to see how it ends.
When we rejoice in the resurrection which promises us salvation, do we give any heart to the death that took place, the sin in our lives and blood on our hands that caused that death? Or, instead, do we just sacrifice Jesus all over again by not putting our heart and soul into the faith we profess? To say we love and believe in Jesus, but then to live otherwise, is really to reject the faith not only in denying the value of the resurrection but in crucifying Jesus again by ignoring His Word.
Christians have become so timid and or lackadaisical. they have taken literally the idea of being sheep to the point of allowing themselves and their faith to be dissected, skewered, and barbequed. We have been called bigoted, homophobic, intolerant, legalistic and a host of other names. Instead of standing our ground on Scripture we have fallen into the trap of believing we must “coexist” with the world around us. Don’t condemn, just condone. We’ve taken the “judge not, lest you be judged” words of Matthew and incorrectly applied them in the form of accepting sin. We don’t want to offend others so we instead keep our heads down and stay out of the fray.
“Don’t publically witness concerning your faith, you shouldn’t impose your beliefs on others.” “Sit back, be silent and do your own thing.” “Go ahead and believe that you don’t need to worship God and your faith will be just fine even when you only attend church when it’s convenient for you.” “Listen to the popular rhetoric and don’t talk about your faith because that only shows your bias, ignorance and lack of compassion toward others.” After all, if you really care about others, you’ll let them make their own decisions in life and let them follow their own hearts, even if that path leads them to Hell.
When a Christian thinks as this, it’s as though they sacrifice Jesus all over again. He died once for our sins. We are to ask for forgiveness and seek to live a right life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Doing anything else is to “have other gods” and to deny the work of Jesus on the cross. Christians are called to be different, to stand up for Jesus, to live for God not live selfishly or sinfully. We need to remember that the words sin and Hell are as real as salvation and Heaven. Are you living according to God’s will? To do anything else is to forsake the death and resurrection of Jesus and put Christ right back up on the cross.
People don’t want to admit their sin or have it pointed out to them. If we do, we are accused and attacked ourselves as being unloving. But, Jesus came that we might believe in Him. That belief involves confession, contrition and change. We are called to lay our sins before the Cross and come to God for forgiveness, not seek to hold on to them and put Jesus back up on the cross all over again. Easter is about our salvation and becoming a child of God. If we are His children, then let’s live as His children, and do so on His terms not our own.