Sunday, March 23, 2008

O, What a Beautiful Morning!

At the beginning of the musical Oklahoma, Curly, played by Gordon MacRae, sings: O, what a beautiful morning, O what a beautiful day, I’ve got a wonderful feeling, everything’s going my way.

After a long night, a new day dawns. With the rising of the sun comes a new day filled with life and hope.

This morning many believers around the world gather to celebrate what happened that Sunday morning almost 2000 years ago. But we cannot fully appreciate the wonder and excitement of that Sunday morning until we fully grasp what happened on that Friday afternoon, two days before.

God Himself, through the sacrifice of His Son, paid the price of sin. In Romans 5:8, we read: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God did this of His own initiative. There was nothing in us that made us worthy of His grace. Rather, He died for sinners who were only deserving of His wrath. Yet God demonstrated His unconditional love for us by sending His Son to die in our place.

God’s righteousness demanded that sin be punished. Christ’s death satisfied God’s justice, righteousness, and holiness.

Christ’s death on the cross in our place is the highest possible expression of God’s love. That God would send His perfect Son to pay the price for our sin is astonishing. Yet that is exactly what He did. He poured out His wrath on His Son so that He could pour out His love and mercy on us.

On Friday evening, it seemed that the disciple’s hopes died with Jesus on the cross at Calvary. But Sunday morning came and everything changed. Resurrection morning changed the world for ever.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. We worship a risen Savior. We can have a relationship with the living God. No other religion in the world makes that claim. Buddha is dead. Mohammed is dead. The millions of Hindu gods are dead. Jesus Christ, the Son of the One True God, is alive. In Him, we have a living hope, a hope of eternal life with God in heaven.

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