On Friday 14th and Sunday 16th of April, Christian Churches throughout the world will come together to celebrate the Passion of Christ, a series of events which show the full extent of God’s love for lost mankind as he gave his only Son to die in our place and in our stead.
At face value, the message of Easter (more correctly, Passover), is a great message, one of compassion, self-sacrificial love, forgiveness, life and triumph over the power of Sin and death. However, it is a message that is often missed out if not altogether ignored by a secular and sceptical world that is unwilling to acknowledge the reality of the divine and supernatural.
Today I read a statement in an article concerned with the way current Easter celebrations include a number of pagan symbolism (such as bunnies and eggs), a statement that is often endorsed by those who fail to believe in the supernatural, namely that “faith isn’t about reason or sense, it’s about belief” something that the community of faith will strongly disagree with.
For whereas faith is, as the Bible itself puts it, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, something based not on what we see with our natural eyes, it is nonetheless not a blind faith, even less something that excludes reason or sense. Blind faith is definitely not the kind of faith that the Bible encourages. Not by chance miracles are called “signs” in the Bible. Not by chance God calls people to “come, let us reason together” (Isa 1:18). Blind faith is nothing more than naivety and gullibility. It is the kind of thing that often leads to dogmatism and all sorts of unhealthy extremes. True faith, on the other hand, is actually supported by reasonable evidence. Even though the Bible presents us with a God that passes all understanding, it certainly presents him and his ways as not only knowable but within the range of our human experience.
It is therefore massively important for us believers to proclaim, especially at a time such as this, not only the reasonableness of Christ and his Cross, but the experiential nature of the Gospel. For, as the Apostle Paul puts it (one whose life was completely turned around from fiercely persecuting such faith, to dying for it), the Gospel isn’t just another religion, just another option out there; it is rather “the power of God for the salvation of those who believe”.
This month, we will gather together both on Good Friday the 14th of April (special guest: Derek Lindley) and Easter Sunday the 16th to present Christ and the Cross for what they are – something not only reasonable but experiential as well. Let us therefore invite our friends and relatives, let us invite the sceptics, let us call out to people to come, “taste and see that the Lord is good”.