It is hard to believe it is Easter! Most people like to be in church on Easter, some even coming out early for Sunrise Service. It is sad to realize that many folk who attend services, do not realize what it all means. Some wonder why Jesus had to die such a terrible death on the cross if He is really in control and some question the truth of His resurrection. Yet His resurrection is the very reason we celebrate Easter.
When Father, Son and Holy Spirit decided to give free will to the creatures they designed, angels, men, and inhabitants of other planets throughout the vast universe, they knew this freedom could produce evil as well as good. The most beautiful and honored angel in Heaven became jealous and wanted to be like God. This started a war in Heaven that eventually affected our planet. Sin (evil choices) will have to run their course in this controversy between God and Satan. Satan was so successful in his rebellion that he drew a third of the angels away from God. The controversy will be over when finally, men will all see that whatever God has done has been from love. (If you want to see what the Bible says about this created being who wanted to be like, or just BE God, read Isaiah 14:12–15 and Ezekiel 28:11–19.)
Why didn’t God just wipe him out as soon as trouble started? God knew that this would only cause other of His creatures to serve Him out of fear, not Love. At this season, many of our hymns mention His cross. For instance, “Must Jesus bear His cross alone and all the world go free? No there’s a cross for everyone and there’s a cross for me.” Another such song is one entitled “Gladly the cross I’d bear.” This means that we gladly bear burdens that come to us when we follow Christ’s example.
Pastor Randall Murphy of Grafton, WV, was once pastor of the church my family attended in Kansas City, Missouri. He told the children a story about that song title and how children misunderstood and when asked what they had learned at church that day, one supposedly said they had sung about Gladly, the cross-eyed bear. The next day was actually a blustery winter day so my son, Chuck Bucklew, went outside and built “Gladly” at the side of our church. The picture of Gladly was on the evening news.
Parents take your children to church and read Bible stories about Jesus to them while they are small and as they grow. Continue to help them to get to know Jesus. He will be their best friend and will help them live in peace, faith and security and when the judgment happens, Jesus will not have to say to them, “I never Knew you.” (See Matthew 7:21-23)