On this Good Friday, we set our hearts and minds to remember the selfless act of Jesus giving His life for humanity. There are some who struggle with the premise of Jesus’ death and resurrection. To a non-Believer, the account appears to be a bit absurd and obscene. Christians will want to provide a compelling argument against this perception to the non-Believer. When we examine the Scriptures regarding the introduction of sin and the ultimate removal of sin, we can then understand and appreciate Jesus being the answer.
Sin can be defined as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God. Sin was introduced in the Garden of Eden through the act of disobedience. This caused a ripple effect of corruption resulting in physical and spiritual deaths which allowed Satan to have dominion over all that God had given to man. The old sacrificial system used for the atonement of sin was insufficient. There are no deeds or enough burnt offerings that we could offer to God the Father to protect us from His wrath. Jesus was and still is the answer.
The entry of sin, the answer to sin, and the ultimate removal of sin all have one common component – a tree. Through the act of disobedience, Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil ushering sin into the world. (Genesis 3:1-6 KJV) We celebrate Good Friday because Jesus provided the solution to sin by dying on the tree. (Acts 5:30 KJV) We anticipate the ultimate removal of all sin in eternity through the Tree of Life. (Revelation 22:1-3 KJV)
The fact is that what Jesus endured for humanity was absurd and obscene, yet necessary. The absurdity was the arrest, trial, conviction, and sentencing of Jesus. The obscenity was the mockery, brutality, and crucifixion of Jesus. Sin separates us from God the Father placing us in spiritual darkness (or death). Before the crucifixion, our Heavenly Father saw the absurd obscenity through our sins. After the resurrection, God sees the shed blood of His Son that covers the multitude of past, present, and future sins.
Rose Publishing has produced a pamphlet entitled, “What’s So Great About Heaven?” This pamphlet answers some of the most frequently asked questions about heaven, the afterlife, and clarifies erroneous ideologies relating to heaven.
Our knowledge of heaven is provided through only one true source which is the Bible. Our ability to understand heaven, it ambience or atmosphere, culture, and sociology is what we are able to identify within the Scriptures. There are limitations in our ability to understand heaven in part because all is not revealed to us in the Scriptures about heaven. We are also limited in our understanding of eternal concepts. However, publication provides a comprehensible synopsis of what is found in the Bible and provides a snapshot of what we can expect in heaven.
The pamphlet is well-written. It is not an exhausted source on heaven, but covers the important biblical truths about heaven. There are “myth busters” that the pamphlet addresses. For example, the belief that all people go to heaven. True salvation is key to eternal life. It addresses the ideology of heaven being the “ultimate great escape.” There are many who practice religion to escape the possibility of going to hell. However, if they never cultivate a true relationship with God their habitual rituals will not save them.
I would recommend this for Sunday School, Bible Studies, or small group discussions.
The greatest love story to me is the recount of how Jesus paid the ultimate price and sacrificing His life for all. “The Easter Story” provides a well-written account exploring the week leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. “The Easter Story” provides the well-known events such as the Last Supper, Jesus predictions of Peter’s denial and the disciples’ weakness, and Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
What I would love to see added to “The Easter Story” are the miracles associated with both the death and resurrection of Christ. For example, when Jesus died darkness covered the land, the veil in the temple was torn in two, and the earth shook and the rocks were split. Upon the resurrection of Christ the tombs of the sleep Saints were opened and those Saints were resurrected as well. Often the accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrections fail to highlight the additional miracles that are associate with God’s great love. These additional miracles are significant yet often go unmentioned.
With the exception of not exploring the additional miracles, “The Easter Story” provides a beautiful overview of the greatest love story ever told. This pamphlet can be used in multiple ways. It is great to read for individuals before partaking in a Communion service, New Believers classes, and Sunday School teachings.