This past Friday my husband and I attended a lovely citywide Good Friday service with our two toddlers in tow, and I found the message spoken so powerful that I thought I would share it.
It’s a message I know well, but often forget. A message that impacts everything, but yet is so readily discarded. The message the world needs, but rarely hears.
The message of reconciliation.
It’s the reason we celebrate Easter, because Christ’s death and resurrection was the most important event in history.
The preacher was a First Nations pastor telling the story of his life of addictions, broken relationships and how he came to faith in Jesus Christ. He talked about how the world today is torn by war and division among nations, cultures, governments, families and friends. Things seem to be getting worse all the time, while people search for the answer to world peace, each coming up with different solutions that never work long term.
The reason no man derived peace making efforts work in the long run is because people cannot be truly reconciled to each other if they are not first reconciled to God. Broken friendships cannot be fixed, hopeless marriages cannot be restored, conflicts and divisions cannot be solved, nations cannot get along, if the broken relationship between God and man is not first dealt with.
This is the message of the gospel-the message of reconciliation for which Christ died. To restore mankind to a relationship with God that had been broken by sin, so we can be part of His family, His kingdom, and His plan of reconciliation. We were enemies of God but now we can be His friend through the death of Christ on the cross, which paid the penalty of sin for us.
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10)
If we have been forgiven and restored by God through Christ, we then have the power to forgive others who have wronged us and to be reconciled with them.
The preacher shared how after becoming a Christian he was able to reconcile with family members, his ex-wife and people who had hurt him, because he now had the power of the Holy Spirit to truly love and forgive.
Once we ourselves are reconciled to God, we can go out into a hurting world torn by sin and tell them the message of hope.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
Are there people in your life you need to reconcile with? Have you been reconciled to God through faith in Christ’s death on the cross?
For more information on the Bible’s teaching about reconciliation and more detail about the reconciliation Christ’s death on the cross brought about, check out this great article http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2015/01/19/top-7-bible-verses-about-reconciliation/