Jesus changed everything.
More specifically, Jesus' life, death and resurrection changed everything.
Easter marks the great divide in history.
Everything that took place prior to the resurrection and everything since find meaning in this one event. Easter is the sense-making moment of history.
Part of being created in God's image is this longing for things to make sense, for our lives to matter, to have purpose. God created us for relationship with him. We hunger and thirst for him whether we know it or not. There is a longing knit into our souls.
At the same time, we are also terribly broken -- railing against him, passionately striving to make our own way. We seek to prove ourselves worthy, to put ourselves in his place, claim our own glory; then, inevitably, we fall on our faces, break our bodies, tear our souls, hurt others, humiliate ourselves and grasp in every direction for relief from the pain of it all.
Left to our own devices, we do not love God with all our heart, mind and souls. We do not love our friends and family, let alone our enemies, as much as we love ourselves. We cannot even keep the two greatest commandments, let alone rejoicing always, praying unceasingly, giving freely, controlling our passions, letting go of our anger, or forgiving the people who hurt us. We are very much like the Israelites in the wilderness -- quickly forgetting God's goodness, complaining about our current plight, taking the plunder we believe we deserve even though God has forbidden it, and building our own golden calves.
We were born to love God, to enjoy him and to bring him glory, but ever since sin entered the world, our natural inclination is to resist him.
Mercy and Righteousness Kiss
The situation looks hopeless... Until we look back to Easter.
In Jesus, God provides the means for the deep longing of our hearts to be met.
God became man, lived a perfect life -- one that modeled what it means to love and to surrender -- and then died to pay the penalty for our rebellion, so that we might be forgiven, washed clean from sin and placed back into relationship with God, where we were always meant to be.
This is the solution to the central human problem -- the answer to all our longings. The Westminster Shorter Catechism poses this question: What is the chief end of man? The answer: The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. We can only glorify and enjoy God because of Christ's death on the cross.
Maybe you're wondering if all of this is really necessary. Couldn't God just forget all about sin and welcome all his creatures with open arms?
Here's what the Bible tells us.
God is holy, perfect, righteous -- completely devoid of any evil intent. His hatred for sin, his unwillingness to tolerate it, isn't because he's some kind of cosmic killjoy. God sees sin for the insatiable destroyer that it is. He will not tolerate it because it is in direct opposition to all that he is. He is good. He loves us. He knows sin will eat us alive.
Sin had to be eradicated, defeated, beaten.
God is love. In his great love, he provided the way back to him, not because we were so wonderful that we deserved it. No, he provided the way back into relationship with him because he was so wonderful, so good, and he loved us.
In Jesus, righteousness and mercy kissed.
Because of Easter, Change is absolutely possible. Download our free e-book for more evidence.
"Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed." Psalm 85:10