“And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.”            1 Corinthians 5:15

The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven, it’s a way to get people to God.  As I’ve been reflecting this Easter season on the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection, this truth has once again made itself clear through the verse from 1 Corinthians 5:15.  Christ died and was raised ultimately so that people (us) would “no longer live for themselves, but for Him.”  This means that God has done everything through Jesus to enthrall us with what would make us happy:  Himself!

And what has Jesus done to bring us to this end?  Well, it was Jesus “who for their sake died and was raised.”  Why did this have to happen?  You see, before we could ever come to God as the all-satisfying fountain of joy, there is a problem.  That problem is us.  First, God’s just judgment and wrath is on us because of our suicidal exchanging of the glory of God for the brokenness and emptiness of created things (Romans 1:18, 23).   Second, our rebellion against God is so deep that it affects our heart.  We don’t want God to be Lord or master of our lives, and we don’t like having to admit that we need a Savior.  We’d rather earn our acceptance before God in some way that doesn’t make us look so helpless or weak.

Of course, we are helpless and weak.  It is for this reason that Christ “died and was raised”.  The two most basic roadblocks (God’s wrath and my rebellion) that prevent us from entering into a relationship of joy in the presence of God were dealt with in Jesus.  It’s important to understand that God’s wrath and our sin obstruct us from seeing and savoring the infinite value of God.  You can’t enjoy God as supremely satisfying while in rebellion against Him and His wrath is on you.  The gospel removes both, so we can seek Him, and rejoice in the greatness of God!  Oh, what love!  As the psalmist says in Psalm 70:4, “May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you!  May those who love your salvation say evermore, ‘God is great!’”

Loving the God of our salvation with you this Easter,

Pastor Dave

P.S.  For a great book to read with your kids, check out Paul Maier’s The Very First Christmas.