Easter is the centerpiece of the Christian Faith. It is the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The proclamation of “He is risen” and its response “He is risen indeed” will keynote Easter services all over the world. The only reason I write these words is that resurrection.
The Apostle Paul wrote that if Christ did not rise, our faith is in vain; useless, meaningless, totally lacking in value and merit; a waste of time. But when Paul wrote those words, he had already encountered the risen Christ. Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus. That momentary meeting changed Paul from one who persecuted the followers of Christ into one who led them and still today leads and shapes the church through his writings.
Paul wrote that anyone who becomes in Christ is a new creation and that everything in that person becomes new; the old passes away. We learn from Paul that while sin came into the world by the disobedience of one man, that redemption, grace and truth which readily overcomes the evil and the consequence of sin also came by one man, the one we call Jesus, savior, the lover of our soul.
Jesus loves us. Moreover Jesus loves you. I heard those words for the first time 45 years ago. I was still a young man when I heard those wonderful words: “Jesus loves Murray”. Jesus was standing at the door of my heart, knocking and hoping that I would open that door and invite him to come in.
I heard those words that day and invited Jesus into my heart. I did not understand what was to come. I had no background in this form of thought. I only knew that I wanted to be loved by God; that I needed a savior. I wanted the circumstances I faced to change.
So I swallowed my pride, my self assurance, my assumptions, traditions and simply, in my mind’s eye, opened that door and asked Jesus to come into my heart. And he did! Something happened, something wonderful, so wonderful that 45 years later I invite you to do what I did. Jesus loves you, dear one. He is standing at the door of your heart and knocking right now. Jesus is hoping that you will invite him in.
Will you? If you do, this Easter season will be filled with delight and wonder. You will become a child of the King. King Jesus, son of God and son of man. He is the mighty God whose arm is not short but able to save all who call on him.
This article was originally featured in two daily newspapers in Hawaii on Easter Sunday, 2006.