The Pastor’s Piece – March 24, 2024

The Pastor’s Piece

March 24, 2024

Well, here we are in the middle of Holy Week. This week, Christians the world around are celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. In this column today, I will talk about death and life and how it relates to Christ and us. 

Death is nothing to trifle with. Death causes us to be confronted with our need for the gospel. If it were not for sin, we would not have to die. If it were not for sin, we would not deserve to die. Death reminds us that without the gospel, we could not be saved and we would all be entirely without hope. In the Garden of Eden, Adam was told that the day he ate from the tree in the middle of the garden, he would surely die. And he did die inside that very day. He hid from God because he knew his disobedience had separated him from fellowship with God. Sin kills. I received a letter in the mail this week from someone who said: “I am not living – only existing.” Sadly, that person joins millions of others the world around. The wages of sin is death.

When we die physically, our souls do not die too, but they are in fact separated from our bodies. Death is therefore separation. In the case of Adam and Eve, it was separation brought about by their rebellious disobedience. Because of that, they and all their descendants were plunged into a condition of death. As Ephesians puts it, we were dead in our transgressions and sins in which we used to walk. 

In the Bible, death is declared an enemy of God. And if there is one thing we know about God’s enemies, it is that every one of them will go down in defeat. God will be defeated by nothing. A day is coming when a trumpet blast from heaven will fill the earth, and when that happens, the graves will open – those who have put their trust in Christ will be raised to the resurrection of life, and those who have not will be raised to the resurrection of condemnation, (John 5:29). But everyone will be raised eventually – some to eternal life in heaven with God and some to eternal separation and damnation. We know the resurrection will happen because God gave us a preview of this in the resurrection of Jesus. It is important to realize that every human being will, at death, meet Jesus, whether you are saved or not saved. 

Here is the message of Holy Week: The eternal One died and rose again. Included in this is the story of Christmas, when the eternal One became flesh and actually became a human being. He came on a rescue mission. God had to become a man in order to die for us because you can’t nail a spirit to a cross. The Bible says that you and I will die, but in order that we might not have to die eternally Jesus took our place and He died on the cross. But because He is the eternal one, when He was taken down from the cross, He was put into a tomb, but He did not stay there. He rose from the dead. When we look to Christ in faith we anticipate everlasting life in hope. 

“As many as received Him, to those He gives the authority to be called the sons of God, even to those who believe in His name.” Those who put their trust in Jesus, when they die, they will be resurrected to new life and He will be there to open the gates of paradise. 

Happy Resurrection Day!

(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin).