Today Christina and I want to wish you a happy Resurrection Day! This morning we celebrated Easter at our home church Hope for People here in Odessa, Ukraine. It’s at times like this that I really love the name of our church, after all Jesus’ resurrection does give true and lasting hope for people!
Last night my mind was so active, thinking about the resurrection that I had a hard time sleeping. At 4am I woke up and walked out into our balcony to look at the usually empty street below. However, to my surprise I saw dozens of people headed to the Orthodox temple, with baskets containing bread, sausage and vodka for the priests to bless!
Over the past few years it has become increasingly popular to celebrate religious holidays like Easter, Christmas and Ascension Day. Unfortunately the popularity of religious activities will never change the condition of the human heart.
Religious ceremony may temporarily make us feel better about ourselves but it will never make us better.
We need something more than rules and liturgy, we need a solution that reaches into the depths or our souls and exchanges our corrupt nature with a new nature that pleases a holy God.
Today is Easter and just about everyone you pass on the street will greet you with “Jesus has risen” and the response, “He has risen indeed!” It is a wonderful greeting that rings with the truth upon which hinges the entire history of mankind.
The problem is that you and I can speak words of truth and yet fail to repent and believe.
Words, even true words without faith are nothing more than empty religion. When these hollow words connect to the motions of “worship” you end up with a religion which prescribes medicine for the symptoms of sin when what you need is Jesus who cures man from the source of sin!
Without true faith Jesus doesn’t save and without Jesus the Holy Spirit does not change our hearts and enable us to do the good works God has called us to do.
Without the Holy Spirit’s work our attempts at righteousness will produce little more than a moral recipe for religious failure.
Today is Resurrection Sunday and I’m checking my heart to make sure that my words match my faith! I am also reminding myself that Jesus came to free us from empty religious activity and in its place give us a living relationship with a holy God.
There is hope for people and his name is Jesus!
Question: How is the resurrection of Jesus impacting your life today?