Matthew 27:51-55: “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’ Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.”
Christmas, Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter — a Gospel parade. Gospel simply means “Good News”, hence a parade of Good News!
For me it was vitally important to understand what people were telling me when they spoke about the Gospel or the Good News. I was in my 30s when I started seeking God, the Creator.
I cannot recall how many of my prayers included, “I don’t understand. I’m not getting it.” Or, “Is there any way I can learn without the 2 by 4? Can you just spell it out for me?”
I sat in almost the last pew, just thumbing through a Songbook and on page 349 I came across a page titled “Doctrines” (which recently has been updated to page 352).
There are 11 of them. Later I discovered that “doctrines” is just a churchy way of saying “teachings.” The 11 doctrines are simple, short statements of faith.
I do not possess the vocabulary to convey to you how much that page helped me in my understanding, which catapulted me to read and study the Scriptures for myself, to see if I actually believed what those doctrines of faith were pointing to.
It was my 2 Timothy 2:15 moment: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
For example: The first doctrine states, “We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by the inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.”
The fifth doctrines says, “We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.”
Doctrine is something I seldom hear others talk about specifically, but you can actually hear their doctrine in how they speak even if it is unintentionally in their casual daily conversations.
Warning! Doctrine can be very controversial!
Good Friday is a prime example of the two doctrines I quoted. We believe the second one — number five — because it’s based on number one.
The Bible tells us the last words spoken by Jesus on the cross of that first Good Friday was “It is Finished.” (John 19:30)
From the list of 11 doctrines I mentioned, number six says, “We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.”
All of us have sin in us, but we are divided when it comes to sin on us. Some have the penalty of sin resting on them; others have, by grace, shifted it over to Christ.
The great question is this: Is your sin on you, or on Christ, who paid its penalty on the hill of Calvary?
There were three crosses and three men. One man died in sin. One man died to sin. One man died for sin.
I often share this next part during the Lenten Season, but to me it’s a valuable part of the Easter Season.
R-R-R-R = R – Reflect, R – Remorse, R – Repent, R – Rejoice.
May we be blessed to be a blessing throughout this Easter Season.