OFF KILTER: Death and Resurrection

It’s been a difficult week at our household. A plumbing emergency left us with a hefty bill and an unholy smell emanating from the basement. I’m listening to the new Deep Purple cd Infinite, commiserating with Ian Gillan singing “You can bury me up to my knees in shit…” on “Hip Boots.” And that’s a great motif for the Easter story. It’s the age old question about whether mankind is inherently evil or good. Some religions strive to elevate the good that is within man to raise us to perfection or godhood. The truth is man is not born innocent, but stained by sin from Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says:

Isaiah 64:6 (TNIV) “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags,; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

Isaiah 64:6 (The Message: Remix) We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated, Our best efforts are like grease-stained rags. We dry up like autumn leaves– sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.”

Thus, back to my analogy, in spite of our best intentions, when we stand before a holy God, we are covered in excrement, as surely as if we have been taking a swim in the sewer. We have no right to stand in the throne room of the King smelling like that.

But God so desired you and me, that He sent His son Jesus to live among us as a man. He came and swam in the human sewer with us, but did something we could not do- stay unsoiled. Good Friday celebrates the day Jesus was executed by Roman soldiers and buried in a tomb. The blood of his death did something that soap and water could never do- wash away our sins and allow us to stand blameless in God’s throne room. Of course, that’s not the end of the story. Three days later, that tomb was vacant, because Jesus rose from the dead.

That is what Easter Sunday is all about- not rabbits laying eggs- trappings left over from pagan fertility holidays, nor baskets full of candy, but God’s sacrifice to pay the debt that our sins incurred, so that we could be with Him. The choice is yours. God is a gentleman that does not force His charity upon you. He made you, He loves you, and He paid a terrible price for you to live forever in His presence, but you are free to reject His hand and continue to live in filth. I pray that you’ll accept God’s offer of salvation on this Resurrection Sunday. How do you do that? It’s simple. Talk to God (prayer). He’s eager to listen to you. Ask Him to forgive your sins and accept you back into His presence. Write in to the magazine or to our facebook page with questions or feedback. Resurrection Band (Rez) will be my soundtrack for the day. Blessings to you.

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