As I sit here the week after Easter, the leftovers are still warm, and story of Easter’s amazing news is still lingering with me deeply from last Sunday. To hear the message from Trinity (http://tcc-online.org/listen/) I have heard the Easter story countless times in my life, but the question can still hang around, is it real? Is Easter really for me? Acts 10:43 addresses it this way:
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Everyone, not some people, not only the religious elite, or those who have their lives together, everyone who hears believes in Jesus receives this powerful and free gift. I remember meeting with a saint of the church in hospice who was wondering to herself, is this real for me? With the end of my life approaching, am I forgiven, even knowing all the sin and struggles in my life being what they are? I remember reading her Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
This is the good news of Easter. Jesus knew all the sin, struggles, temptations and bad decisions that we would ever make, and he gave up his life anyway. In fact, he gave up his life and rose from the grave in spite of our sin. God’s love, and his desire to be reconciled with his people was so great, that he offers us forgiveness from our sins freely. This was by no means free, this gift cost Jesus his life, and he suffered greatly, but God offers you this gift, not based on what you have done or what you can do to earn it, but instead freely because of what Jesus did so that we could be reconciled with God. May we be a people of great grace, of good news, overflowing with joy for what God has done for us, while we were still sinners.