Easter is the celebration of one of the most important events in human history. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was God’s cosmic yes to all the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught that God was making a new Covenant of forgiveness that fulfilled and expanded the Covenant of Moses to all believers. This Covenant offered believers forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith in Jesus sacrificial death. Believers connect themselves spiritually to Jesus and die with Him on the Cross before being raised to a new Holy-Spirit filed life of joy.
Many people in our time have trouble believing in the supernatural. It is hard to believe in the supernatural unless you have experienced it. The Good News is that the Covenant of Jesus is a personal relationship – belief in a person rather than a philosophy of life. Just as the Bible is full of supernatural experiences that changed lives. We know the Resurrection is a true story because:
· The details of the bandages sound like a first-hand account
· The confusion of the Disciples is very human and not heroic
· Millions of people’s lives were changed – they would die for Jesus
2. Covenant of Jesus Created a Way to Forgiveness of Sin
A covenant is a legally binding agreement – like marriage. The Covenant of Moses defined the relationship between the Hebrew people and God. The people were to love and honour God and love their neighbour as defined by the 10 Commandments. God was to grant them protection from enemies, land, children and long life. The Levite priests added rules later about animal sacrifices, but these were obviously ineffective. Jesus fulfilled or completed this Covenant by:
· Being a voluntary, holy, fully divine and fully human sacrifice that was sufficient to pay for the sins of the whole world
· Loving God and us enough to give up His physical life for our spiritual life
3. What Is Our Part in the Covenant of Jesus?
Our part in the Covenant of Jesus is ‘to believe in” Jesus. Believe in Jesus is the whole New Testament in three words:
· “Belief” means complete trustor faith in the person of Jesus
· “Belief “means knowing aboutJesus from reading the Bible – ideally all of it
· “Belief in” means having a personal relationship– a supernatural experience of the Risen Jesus –Jesus becomes a real person
· “In” means belief or trust in who Jesus isand what He did on the Cross – i.e. died for your sin
· “Belief In” means repentance, confession and asking for forgiveness – dying spiritually to the sin with Jesus on the Cross
· “Belief in” means laying sin-guilt at the foot of the Cross, accepting forgiveness from Jesus
· “Belief in” means letting go of the guilt and leaving it behind
· “Belief in means being grateful and saying thanks
· “Belief in” means we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us, heal us and comfort us as we die to our old self and go deeper in our spiritual life in-Christ
· Good News is that when our body dies our personal spirit carries our soul to heaven for a life of joy
4. In the Eucharist we celebrate the New Covenant of Jesus
The night before He died Jesus gave us a new way to celebrate our Covenant relationship with God. This is the Covenant we enter at Baptism and re-affirm by saying ‘amen’ after the Eucharistic Prayer:
· The readings and teachings that help us examine our life
· Prepare for Confession and absolution
· Die to our old way of life
· Be resurrected into our new way of life
· This is a lifelong process as we develop a deeper and deeper eternal spiritual life in Christ.
We are witnesses to the Resurrection as God’s
validation of the Covenant of Jesus.