Poster Archive : APRIL 2011
Message: One death you can celebrate
Bible verse: "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
The death notices in the newspaper can make gripping reading as friends and family try to express all that a loved one's life meant to them and the world. A death notice is so final. A last broadcast to the community that a living being has finished contributing to this world.
Mostly obituaries are a solemn expression of love, such as the notice written by Heath Ledger's family: "With much sorrow and sadness on the sudden loss of Heath. Our thoughts are with Kim, Sally, Kate, Ashleigh and Olivia. We will treasure our memories of a much loved nephew and cousin."
Some are surprisingly honest, such as this notice from August 7, 2008:
"Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing."
Obituaries run the gamut from solemn expressions to honest reflections. But have you ever seen an obituary celebrating a death? This seems like a cruel response. So why is the death of Jesus of Nazareth cause for celebration?
He was an innocent man sentenced in an unjust legal process. He was tortured by his captors. Spat on by crowds. With nails driven through his hands and feet he hung for hours on a splintered wooden cross. The process of Jesus's death was no cause for celebration.
But for all the injustice, pain and humiliation, this was a death with a purpose.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. And on this first Easter, the Son of God was dying for a reason - to make it possible for sinners to be reconciled to God. At Easter, we celebrate the ultimate expression of God's love - the death of his son, to offer his enemies forgiveness. Which is why the Bible tells us:
"While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
This was a death for you. This was one death you can celebrate.
Prayer: Dear God, the death of your Son Jesus was a horrific experience. I thank you that he was willing to go through this for me - your enemy. I thank you that because of his death we can be reconciled to you. Amen