Faith & Insight: ‘Top priority’

Ken Haskins

Ken Haskins

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This weekend, 2.3 billion Christians will observe Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The events that are commemorated on these days are referred to as of “first importance” by the Apostle Paul.

Paul wrote, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” This is the meaning of Good Friday. Paul continues, “He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.” Here is resurrection or Easter Sunday.

The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart or core of the gospel. The good news of Good Friday is not that Jesus died, but that he “died for our sins.” Isaiah declared, “Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Paul describes the motive behind Christ’s sacrificial and substitutionary death. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Peter piles on, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’”

It’s Good Friday and “Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been slain,” he “was slain from the creation of the world.” God’s top priority plan from the beginning was to reconcile man to himself in Christ.

Resurrection Sunday declares that the sacrifice of Jesus was accepted as the will of God. Isaiah declares, “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied, by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many and he will bear their iniquities.”

Robert Owen, before his debate with Alexander Campbell, on the existence of God, told Campbell that even though he was an atheist, he had no fear of death. Campbell replied that Owen was similar to an ox that was grazing nearby. The ox did not fear death, but neither did it have any hope.

Ernest Renan claimed that Christians were “living on the perfume of an empty vase.” The truth is that we are living, and the vase (tomb) is empty! Christ is our hope, and he does not disappoint! Hallelujah!

Ken Haskins is head pastor at First Christian Church in Carson City. 


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