Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Monday, 2 April 2018

A Blessed and Holy Easter !












Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, 
has become the first-fruits of them that have slept.
To Him be glory and might unto the ages of ages.

+ Amen + 

1 comment:

John Haggerty said...

'Even angels long to look into these things.'
1 Peter 1: 12

'And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, Do you have anything here to eat?'
Luke 24: 41

In the post-Christian West, people regard the Resurrection as a fairy-tale or legend.
This is because they have no understanding of the meaning of our Lord's death on Calvary.

Crucifixion for the Jew was a curse.
The crucified man was under the curse of God.

The man was put to death in the most humiliating way.
He was crucified outside the city walls, as a warning to others.
He was completely naked, without a loin cloth.
His whole body was racked in pain.
As he lost control of his bowels his legs were drenched in his excrement.
By the end of the ordeal he was raving mad and out of his mind.

But for the Jew it was even more terrible.

God had turned his back on the crucified man.
The man's name would never be spoken again.
Even the man's mother would never speak his name again.
He was truly forsaken.

So how could the Prince of Glory die under God's curse?
For the first three hours on the cross Jesus suffered at the hands of men.
For the second three hours he suffered at the hands of the Father.

There was a double darkness the day they crucified the Lord.
There was the darkness sent by God at noon.
Men and women in Jerusalem were afraid.
Imagine that bright blue Mediterranean sky, now dark and foreboding.

The second darkness was in Christ.

Christ on the cross was in darkness.
Christ on the cross was riddled with sin.
Our sin. Our darkness.

At the worst of Christ's suffering he lost all communion with the Father.
'Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?'

It is this doctrine of the Atonement that the New Atheists attack most violently.
Richard Dawkins steps out of his role as a scientist and calls the Atonement 'barbarous' and 'disgusting'.

He is far more right than he knows. Our sins are barbarous and disgusting. Jesus bore them on Calvary. He who had no sin became sin for us.

It is this great doctrine of salvation that the post-Christian world desperately needs to hear.

The Puritan preacher Richard Sibbes told sinners that if they died in their sins, they would experience that double darkness.
They would be in a dark place and they would be lost forever.
And they would only know darkness within.
For they would be in a place where they would never see Christ again.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that Satan attacks the doctrine of the Atonement more than any other doctrine.
'He wants to confuse us over the meaning of this doctrine more than any other,' Dr. Lloyd-Jones said.
(See his book, 'God the Father, God the Son'; and his book on the Holy Spirit, 'Prove All Things'.)

'Even angels long to look into these things.'

As Professor T.N. Wright put it, Jesus takes his divinity right into the place of suffering, despair and death.
This is what the New Testament calls Jesus' perfect obedience.
The angels in Heaven are full of wonder at what Jesus did for us.
'Because God so loved the world.'

As John Piper said, in Heaven we will never stop praising Jesus for the precious blood he shed for us on Calvary.

As Paul said, if Christ is not risen, our sins are not forgiven, our faith is in vain, and we are of all people the most to be pitied.

While sheltering in a narrow cave during a rainstorm, Augustus Toplady penned his most famous hymn:

'Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee!
Let the water and the blood
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.'