Christ Crucified and Risen Word on the Week 8th April 2023.
Easter confronts us with a view of life that has at its centre a dead man’s cross and a living man’s empty tomb. The death Jesus died was for our sins. The life He now lives He lives to God (Romans 6 verse10).
That view of life becomes personal when, by God’s grace, we can say ‘He died for me’ and mean it. The personal pronouns ‘for me’ are dynamite! Me the sinner, Christ the Saviour and nothing in between.
The Apostle Paul puts it more elegantly, ‘I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2 verse 20b).
What is the nature of this love? The Apostle answers for us. It is not a love that is mean but generous. Writing to the church at Corinth Paul proclaims that this love is for all believers. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again (1 Corinthians 5:14 – 15).
Something of the awesomeness of this love is captured in Bryn and Sally Haworth’s hymn: – What kind of love is this that gave itself for me? I am the guilty one, yet I go free. What kind of love is this, a love I’ve never known; I didn’t even know his name – what kind of love is this?
What kind of man is this, that died in agony? He who had done no wrong was crucified for me. What kind of man is this, who laid aside his throne that I may know the love of God – what kind of man is this?
By grace I have been saved; it is the gift of God. He destined me to be his own such is his love. No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, nor has the human heart conceived what kind of love is this?
But there is more. ‘Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive’ (1 Corinthians 15 verses 20 – 22).
The damage caused by the fall restored and the saving work of Christ vindicated by “living man’s empty tomb”. He is alive forevermore.