Pleasant Home UMC
Friday, May 22, 2015
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
September to May Sunday Service 11:00 a.m.
May 24, 2015 is Pentecost Sunday. Wear Red!
Hope you can join us.
From the Pastor’s Desk...
Easter is a time for us (Christians) to celebrate the atonement of God's love for the world. Often we hear the word 'Atonement' during Lent and Easter. I had to look the word up in my dictionary since it was new and unfamiliar when I first read it. It simply means a "Compensation for a wrong" or paying the penalty for sin" because God hates sin. In the Old Testament period, people had to sacrifice animals in the temple to atone for their sin. This was the only option they had.
Have you ever thought about that? What would it be like to bring an animal to church every single day for the atonement of one's sin? Have you ever wondered what it's like to live in the Old Testament era? Can you imagine waiting in line for atonement? How about not having enough time to do everything in a day because you've spent half of the day at temple? Well, if you haven't had a chance to think about these questions, perhaps you can still consider them as we are approaching the Easter day. In fact, this is what Easter is all about; it's a time for reflections to fill in the gap between the Old Testament period and the New Testament one. Indeed, we live in a time where we see God's grace all around us, and that's what makes Easter very significant. The questions above are important to comprehend how the son of God could volunteer to pay for your sin? It makes it all the more amazing that Christ volunteered for the experience on the cross, which makes me appreciate Easter and its role. We've come to know that the cross was inevitable for the son of God, because that's how much He loved us! Cicero called the nailing of a human on the cross, "a cruel and horrifying means of death." Kausner, a Jewish scholar, called it "the most terrible death, which man has ever devised for taking vengeance on humankind."
Christ might have encountered a moment of tension with the world as he had two options before him. The world had to die, or he had to die and it was a battle unto death. Either you or I had to die or he had to die and amazingly He had chosen to die on our behalf. God's way of loving us is that He decided to pay for the penalty of sin once and for all so that you and I can be free. He says, you don't have to suffer anymore; you don't have to sacrifice animals anymore and you don't have to wait in line anymore! Jesus says, I'll take all those burdens from you, let me be your scapegoat, let me be your lamb, and let me be your bull. Jesus is our sin bearer. That's what Jesus does for us on the cross. "...while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Thanks be to God! Indeed, you are free through Christ!