Meditations: Easter and Hope

in Christian Fellowship6 months ago (edited)

All over the world, celebration of Easter is underway. What is this holiday? From its origins, what does it represent?

Today I would like to write a brief post about my answer to these questions.

Source: Creator geRsweb on Pixabay

At the center of the answer is the Cross. On which Jesus Christ was crucified. After which, as He said He would, He arose from the dead on the third day - the first day of the week. Easter Sunday!

Before we can talk about the Cross, we first need to talk about what led up to that fateful day.

The Garden

Is there any place on earth which is so universally understood and known than a garden? It can be many things. Beyond its practical purpose of providing a source of food, for many, it serves as a a place of peace and tranquility. A sanctuary. A place of refuge.

In the history of mankind, the Word of God provides two very important examples of a garden - the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane. In these two gardens, men there made decisions which affected all eternity.

Source: Creator Larisa-K on Pixabay

In the first, the Garden of Eden, we read about man living in a perfect state of harmony and peace with His Creator. He had only one requirement to remain in that state. Which he chose not to obey ...

"Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”"

Genesis 2:15-17

Source: Creator kareni on Pixabay

Tempted by Satan to doubt this, in his willfulness, man was determined to go his own way. The consequence was immediate. Sin entered the world and the world was forever changed.

The Problem Statement

Many of us, in one way or the other, have heard of this famous story of the Garden of Eden. Of God's one commandment to Adam, to not eat of the Tree of Good and Evil. There is so much that has been written about all of this, for centuries.

I will not attempt to recreate it here, except to say God's Word tells us this is how sin entered into the world. And, as a consequence, forever changed it from what He originally intended it would be.

Sin. A simple three-letter word. We can all spend the rest of what remains of our lives trying to fully grasp the depth of its meaning. And its eternal consequences ...

Source: Creator congerdesign on Pixabay

Sin fundamentally stands in the way of man having fellowship with His Creator. There is only one solution available. Sacrifice. Again, much has been written about this, so I will not attempt to recreate it here.

________________________

Fortunately, the story of man does not end with his disastrous choice in the first garden and what followed. No, there was another garden.

In the second, the Garden of Gethsemane, we read about the tremendous agony suffered by Jesus Christ as He was also tempted not to obey.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”

Mark 14:32-36

Born to die, as the ultimate sacrifice to atone for the failure of Adam and his descendants, Christ was obedient. Rather than go his own way, He chose to fulfill His Father's will for His life.

Source: Creator JamesDeMers on Pixabay

"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."

1 Corinthians 15:22

Adam failed. Jesus Christ did not. And in this we have Hope!

The Cross

In the Old Testament, the story of the origins of man and God's history with His chosen people, we read a lot of details about their repeated cycles of living as they should, then falling away. Again. Over and over ...

In the midst of this history, we read this:

“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other."

Isaiah 45:22

In God's perfect holiness and justice, He repeatedly called upon His people to repent of their waywardness and come back to the life for which they had been created. The Old Testament ends with them never having come back fully. And, even the times when they came back partially, it didn't last for long.

Mankind was helplessly and hopelessly lost. Powerless to do anything about it. In the fullness of time, God Himself provided the answer to mankind's eternal dilemma. In the New Testament, we read this:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

John 3:16

Source: Creator geralt on Pixabay

On the Cross, God's perfect holiness and justice were met with His perfect grace and mercy. Based upon His love, which is beyond the comprehension of man, He laid down His life. That we might be free, have life, and have it abundantly. Just as our Creator had intended, from the beginning of time.

He laid down His life? Why would the Son of God have to die?

Conviction vs. Condemnation

If you have read this far, I would imagine you may have conflicting emotions about how you are feeling about it. And how best to respond. Perhaps you will permit me to share with you how I have struggled with the same thing.

Before continuing, I am compelled to make a critically important statement:
I am no better than you. I am no different from you!

If we have any experience at all with Christianity and the message of the Gospel, we have almost certainly heard it from someone else. And how did that go? For many of us, the answer lies in these two words - conviction and condemnation - and understanding what they represent.

Both of these words are typically associated with hearing something ... a "message" ... which we likely would rather not have heard. The essential distinction between these two words is what lies behind the intent of "the messenger." I believe what ultimately lies behind conviction is love. And I believe what ultimately lies behind condemnation is hatred.

My own experience has been a much greater familiarity with condemnation, as too often even well-intentioned (Are they truly? Only God Himself can say ...) people can come across as condescending and self-righteous.

Source: Creator stokpic on Pixabay

But ... Is that always the case? Thankfully and eternally grateful, I can say ... No!

Below you will find a link to "my story" and how a man was used by God to change my life. How did he manage that? By being humble and yet not afraid to speak loving words of conviction ...

To the world, the true, historic story of the original Easter Sunday represents the Lamb of God fulfilling the call to pay the greatest price possible for God's people to be free. To be returned, for all time and eternity, to a fully restored relationship with Him in a place of perfect harmony, peace, and prosperity.

There is only one way to get there:

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

John 14:6

While there is still time, on this Easter Sunday, I pray His words will come alive to you, dear reader.

Closing

Even for the most optimistic among us, there is a lot in the world which can lead to despair. For those who are "positive thinkers," what keeps you (us) going?

Hope! For what? Utopia! Paradise! There are many different words across the world for what is essentially the same thing. The great yearning in the heart of man for a better place to call home. A place of refuge from all the ills of the world around them. A place of peace and prosperity. A permanent sanctuary in which we are unconditionally loved and find everlasting joy.

On Easter Sunday, you just read through a brief post on the one source of hope provided by the Author of Life to us all. Not intended to be comprehensive, I will be happy to answer any questions which you may have, to the best of my ability.

Thank you for investing your time in reading this post. On this great day of celebrating the ultimate source of hope, I’d love to hear any feedback you may be inspired to provide.

Respectfully,
Steemian @roleerob

Posted using SteemPeak and “immutably enshrined in the Steem blockchain” on Sunday, 12 April 2020!

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I'll need some time for this post!! But for now... :)
@tipu curate

Thank you very kindly, my dear friend! ✝ ☝

Dear, @Roleerob you've made a great work in expressing really deep meanings and questions in the Sacrifice and Resurection of Jesus Christ!! Many symbols and meanings in those places and people that are deep in the heart of human kind. I keep thinking in the balance of hope in a better future and our survival instinct, which of both keep us going, one conect us with eternity and the other with needs on this world. How sin is always disrupting peace. We need times like this to reflect and construct a better way!

Thanks for share your thoughts on these special days dear Friend!! Also I want to thank you for your support for Knitrias and its work "in here". We'll see where the Wind goes!

Much Love and Light for you and your loved ones, @Roleerob!!

Thank you very kindly for adding value to this post, my dear friend. With your perspective on what I believe to be the most important question any of us, in this world, can ask ourselves.

What happened on the Cross on the original "Good Friday?" And why did it come to that? For a man who it has been shown beyond dispute historically lived and who even other religions show reverence and respect for what He taught and how He lived?

Most importantly, what happened on the original "Easter Sunday?" And what does that represent to us in the midst of this broken world? According to what I believe His word clearly states, eternal destinies hang in the balance, based upon the answers.

Happy to support your efforts "in here" @leveuf. All the best to you and yours, as we await the outcome of the decisions our national leaders are making for us all.

I must read with the translator's help, but I get a substantial subject. It is a very beautiful time from a religious point of view and what is going on in the world today must move us more to reflection and meditation.
Thanks for sharing, @roleerob

It is nice of you to stop by and comment on my post @mllg. As it is not clear to me, whether you were able to successfully translate it, here is some help on what I was inspired to write, using DeepL:


Resumen: ¿Qué es la fiesta de Pascua? ¿Qué pasó en dos jardines diferentes, el Edén y el Getsemaní? ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre convicción y condena? Este post responde a estas preguntas y por qué representan la última fuente de esperanza.

Espero que esto ayude un poco, con lo que me inspiró a escribir en este post. Y, en medio de este mundo roto, espero que tú y los tuyos estén bien, a pesar de ello.

Thank for explain to me.
I can read English better than I could write. I use translator to clarify son words.
Thanks, @roleerob.
You're very nice

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