Whether you are irreligious or religious—you must respond to Jesus. To paraphrase John Stott, you cannot have a moderate response to Jesus. In the Bible no one ever had a so so…”Hmmphh”…response to Jesus. If after today you understand the WHOLE story, who Jesus is and what He did, you better hate Him, hide from Him, or run to Him. And don’t stop short in the story…
Those who are IRRELIGIOUS stop on FRIDAY with JESUS DEAD.
Whether Jesus was who He said He was who knows; but you’d be a fool not to AGREE that the death of Jesus of Nazareth was a horrible unjust tragedy. A 30 year old carpenter name Jesus, who did nothing but serve and love people, is accused falsely, tried illegally, and murdered brutally. If nothing else, this tragedy proves that there is something wrong with the world and you know it. But the irreligious wrongly believe that men can avoid such abuses, ensure justice, or otherwise save themselves from these kinds of mistakes, through better laws, better leaders, better schools, better jobs, better health, better pills, anything but a better heart.
Those who are RELIGIOUS stop on SATURDAY with JESUS BURIED.
Saturday was depressing—there is no hope there. Imagine how the disciples felt with their hero still lying in the tomb. Dwelling on Saturday is a recipe for a joyless Christian faith, also known as religion. The religious are obsessed with the sin of the world, overcome by the sin of others, or overwhelmed by their own. Like the disciples, they sit in despair, angry, joyless, without hope because Jesus only paid. Without Sunday, I can’t be sure the price was accepted by God—so I’ll live in fear of sin, without hope for the world or hope for myself. And I’ll work real hard to fix all the sin in the world and to fix the sin in myself—and I’ll fail.
Those who believe GOSPEL, live the joy of SUNDAY with JESUS ALIVE.
We trust the tomb is empty. We live knowing that, in the darkest of moments, there is always hope because Jesus has conquered sin, Satan, and death. We live knowing that my debt has been canceled, paid in fully, my sin set aside, my record cleared forever. I WAS never good enough but I have been MADE perfect AND I HAVE SOMETHING TO DO. Faith in the Crucifixion means believing that our old life is gone. Faith in the Resurrection means believing there is a new life to live now in Christ, by Christ for Christ. I am not my own. It is not MY body. It is not MY money. It is not MY decision, MY plan, or MY will because this is not MY life.