Sunday 16 April
Mark 16: 1-8
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Because God loves us so much, He has given us freewill, the ability to choose between right from wrong. God already knows that while we could choose His path, some of us will choose otherwise and sin against Him. The pain of a loving parent, who watches a child make a bad decision, or a series of them, may be the only comparison our earthly experience can offer. Of course the parent still loves the child as much as before, but the errant child will be somewhat out of favor with the parent until that child repents. It is the same with God. He still loves us so very much, but realizes we cannot repent for all we have done. God does not like the void that has come between Him and His children, and offers a sacrifice for our sins. God offers the life and death of His son Jesus as the sacrificial lamb, to atone for our sins. Yet even God cannot assign this task; Christ has the same freewill that we do. Jesus had to be willing to do this; He had to choose to submit to the will of God, and He did so out of love; love for God, and love for His creation.
We have been given a gift. Because of Christ Jesus, we have the ability to step into that void between God and us and dwell in His Grace. All we have to do is accept the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, as a result of the Resurrection.
We have been given another gift as well. Beyond forgiveness, we have been given the opportunity to serve this loving and holy God, just as Christ did. To that end, it is the hope and prayer of all at Mt Healthy that the past forty days of prayer and meditation have been influenced by the Holy Spirit, and have brought you closer to God. We prayed this together before you ever saw this program, and we know that it is given, for we asked in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.