An Easter Reflection for 2023 by guest contributor Valerie Morse
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”(1 Corinthians 15:14, 19)
It’s quite a bold statement that the apostle Paul made. Very bold, but attention getting, indeed. He assured his listeners, however, stating with complete confidence, ‘But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep.’ (1 Corinthians 15:20)
This man Paul, who had formerly persecuted followers of Christ, after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, became a great evangelist. Not only did he preach Christ to all he met, but he willingly suffered for the gospel message that he preached. He was imprisoned, flogged and stoned for his message of hope.
Paul knew that Christ’s resurrection was true, and moreover, he understood the ‘why’ of the cross. Why was the cross necessary for the salvation of mankind? Many shake their heads at the thought of such a righteous man enduring so brutal a death…but Paul understood the ‘why’. He was totally committed to this One who gave his life…he understood that God the Son was willing to have all of the sins of mankind placed on him. Jesus was the ultimate and final sacrifice…the only perfect sacrifice. None other would ever be required again.
The words of an old hymn, entitled ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’, truly sum it up:
“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”
And that is what Paul gave – his all, without hesitation, because he understood the ‘why’ of the cross, and would share the good news at any cost to himself.
Understanding the ‘why’ of the cross, leads us to the joy of Easter morning. It is finished!…and He is risen!
A simple gospel message – in faith believing, may we look to the cross for the remission of our sin, and truly live!
Happy Easter, everyone!