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Friday, April 10, 2009

What Do We Really Celebrate At Easter?

RT From: Gary Bauer

As we approach the Easter holiday, it is a good time to reflect on exactly what it is that we Christians are celebrating.

Today, on Good Friday, we think about the Cross and the sacrifice paid for our sins; the amazing love that took our place; and the grace we have been given. That kind of sacrifice is almost impossible to imagine. The suffering that took place there, voluntarily for us, is beyond the comprehension of a culture that says “Live for today and for yourself.” At a time when superficial, selfish and exploitative relationships have become the norm for so many people -- as evidenced by all-time-high rates of divorce, domestic abuse, depression and suicide -- we would do well to reflect more often on God’s grace for us.

We see a small glimpse of that type of sacrificial love every day in the service of our courageous men and women in uniform, who sacrifice their todays for our tomorrows. We see it in the firefighters and policemen who are trained to risk their lives to save strangers. Through their deeds we see that life truly is precious and worthy of protection, each person made in the image of our Creator.

As Christians we believe that Jesus’ death destroyed the barriers between man and God. We believe that He died so that we may be brought close enough to Him to choose Him. Others, however, follow a god who demands that they seek their own death and the deaths of others so that they may receive salvation. What a contrast!

On Easter morning, we do not gather to remember a martyr. We come together to worship the risen Son of God. With Christ’s resurrection, Christians have confidence in a caring Creator, rather than in the chaos of the cosmos. We have confidence in a glorious future, rather than in the finality of the grave. It is this confidence that sustains us in times of trial and tribulation. Why do we have such confidence? Because “It is finished.” Christ’s atoning work on the Cross is done, and we are saved!

Ultimately, it is not the birth of a man born into this world that we celebrate; rather, it is His death and resurrection as the living Son of God. If Christ had not risen from the grave and ascended into Heaven, he would have been forgotten as a common criminal whose birthday would have no significance.

Thank God for the Cross and the empty tomb! Keep the faith. Carol and I and everyone at American Values send our love to you and yours.

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