In Youth Group we have been going through the series Jesus Centered Life, and the lesson we are currently on is called “Jesus and his true mission”. And it happens to coincide perfectly with Easter, which we celebrate this coming Sunday. We did part one of this lesson last week, and this video is part two…as well as our Youth Group Easter message.
*This message is also for anyone who wants to watch, needs to hear it, and/or needs the reminder of this incredible truth! You don’t have to be a student to watch this…
Almost every Easter I think about the great irony — and beauty — of Jesus.
Perhaps he didn’t die for humans as payment for their sins, the greatest being mostly the result of often-unchecked testosterone rushes; rather, Christ was brutally murdered because of humans’ seriously flawed sinful nature. Jesus was viciously killed because he did not in the least behave in accordance to corrupted human conduct and expectation — and in particular because he was nowhere near to being the vengeful, wrathful behemoth so many people seemingly wanted or needed their savior to be and therefore believed he’d have to be. Maybe Christ died in large part because people subconsciously wanted their creator to be a reflection of them, and their patriarchy?
The people insisted on a messiah whose nature is of the unambiguously fire-and-brimstone angry-God condemnation kind of creator that’s quite befitting of the Old Testament, Torah and Quran. And, of course, Jesus also offended some high priests, money changers and Romans in-charge.
All that rejection, regardless of his unmistakable miracles — inexplicably healing crippling ailments, the lifelong blind, and most notably defying death with Lazarus — that were quite unlike many contemporary fraudster faith healers.
Maybe God became incarnate to prove to people that there really was hope for the many — especially for young people living in today’s physical, mental and spiritual turmoil — seeing hopelessness in a fire-and-brimstone angry-God-condemnation creator requiring literal pain-filled penance for Man’s sinful thus corrupted behavior (rather like an angry father spanking his child, really)? He became incarnate to show humankind what Messiah ought to and has to be. Fundamentally, that included resurrection.
Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. I’ll be honest, they were deep…took me a few times reading through them to grasp everything you shared haha.
I would agree that God became incarnate to prove to people that there really was hope. Although I’m not sure I’d say that hopelessness comes from a “fire-and-brimstone angry-God-condemnation creator…”, as much as from the lack of our ability to get out of our hopeless situation. We as people are desperate for something more, something greater, something that gives us an answer to why we are here, what is our purpose, etc. However as humans we don’t have complete answers to those questions, as we didn’t create ourselves. We also are all aware that we are flawed and are not perfect. So when the God of this universe who created everything becomes man and takes the punishment for our sins…our flaws and lack of perfection…we are provided hope. Hope because we have a relationship with God, hope because he has answers that we don’t have, and hope that his love and grace looked past our imperfections and even wiped them out so that we may have a relationship with him again.
However, he absolutely did die to pay the punishment of our sins. Hebrews 9:22 says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 1 Corinthians 15:3 says that Christ died for our sins. Christ did not have to allow himself to be brutally murdered. He is God, and at any moment he could have stopped it and not allowed man…who he had created…to kill him. It wasn’t an accident, or anything other than his plan. Yes, it was a brutal murder. Yes, he ticked off a lot of people and was not what many wanted. I will admit I don’t know everything God may have been doing and working through it all…he is infinite and my brain is finite, so I can’t fully understand all he is doing and working. But scripture is clear that he did die for our sins, to take the punishment for our sins upon himself so that we may have salvation and a relationship with God if we chose to believe. That much I do know. Sometimes the simplest and most plain answer is the right answer.
There is both irony and beauty with Jesus, totally agree with you. The sacrifice he made for us, to pay for our sins, is a perfect example. It’s ironic in its brutality and how the creator would allow his creation to do that to him…and that he would leave the comfort of heaven to come here and be like us as a man in pursuit of us. But within that irony is the beauty. The beauty of a love we don’t find anywhere else, of a God that unlike any other god man has invented, and a creator who loves his creation to that degree. Ironic and beautiful at the same time.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed Easter!