www.herald-journal.com
Tradition or triumph?
March 11, 2013
by Pastor Russell Brown, Elim Mission Church, Cokato

So, what do you know about Easter?

In a place like Cokato, that might sound like a strange question, but not so in the environment from which I have just moved: urban Minneapolis. In the socially diverse urban environment, represented by numerous nationalities, tongues and customs, Easter is not in the front of most people’s mind, now – or ever. Oh, there are pockets of the urban population for whom it has meaning, but for the most part, it is, at best, only vaguely known.

In reality, most likely there are also a number of people in our part of Wright County for whom the same is true. Maybe that’s the case with you.

Maybe you have some warm memories of things that happened at Easter time. They have even left positive sentiments that you savor. But you wouldn’t say they were what you would call “life changing.” I wouldn’t be a very good friend to you if I didn’t tell you that this is a pity.

You see, Easter didn’t just happen. It wasn’t merely the result of a well-meaning Jewish revolutionary who ran into a bunch of prejudiced people at the wrong time, and paid for it with His life. No, the cross accomplished something!

One of the things it accomplished is the end of enmity; that sense of alienation from God we sometimes feel. At times, this feeling of alienation even turns into angst and anger with God.

God didn’t create us to walk around with these feelings toward Him. To the contrary, He created us to enjoy Him. A proper understanding and application of what happened at the cross will take care of our feelings of enmity toward God.

Another thing the cross accomplished is the end of ignorance. Basically, the issue is that we deal with a lot of bad stuff in this world in which we live, and it confuses us about God.

I mean, He’s supposed to be all-powerful, right? He is also supposed to be all-loving, right? So, if He is both all-powerful and all-loving, why doesn’t He do something about the bad things in this world? Could it be that He is not all that powerful, or all that loving?

At best, this confuses us. We’re missing something. A proper understanding and application of what happened at the cross will take care of our feelings of ignorance.

Still another issue accomplished at the cross is the end of evil. You see, on the cross, Christ waged a war. Not only did He wage it, He won it!

It was a conquest of the greatest magnitude: the victory of good over evil. A proper understanding and application of what happened at the cross will help us live life victoriously.

Have I raised more questions than I have answered by what I have just said? Maybe so. It’s difficult to summarize so great a topic in such a small space as in a short newspaper article. However, if you want to learn more, each of these things will be the subject in a message series beginning Sunday, March 17 at Elim Mission Church in Cokato.

The series is titled “What on Earth Did the Cross Accomplish?” If you are not already committed elsewhere, let me personally invite you to be our guest at Elim Mission Church starting March 17 (Easter Sunday, March 31, we will meet at the DC Performing Arts Center).