The chapter this week is titled, “The Hour of Darkness.” Winston will be speaking on the hours leading up to the dark time of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. It’s important for us to be reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf because it is life altering. But, if the story ended with Christ’s death and no resurrection, the Apostle Paul says that we should be the most pitied people in all humanity.
You mean more than those that have to beg for what they need? Yes. What about those that are stuck in the snare of addiction? Definitely. And what about those that just don’t care what happens to the world, as long as they get what they want when the want it? Absolutely! We should be the most pitied of all since our hope would be built on a lie of Jesus rising from the dead.
But, you see, Easter is coming. Yes, the hour of Darkness was terrible and overwhelming, but it was necessary. Without that dark time and Jesus’ willingness to be our substitute, Easter’s resurrection wouldn’t have made an impact. But when the death, burial and resurrection are put together, we see the climax of God’s plan that began with Adam and Eve’s sin - the restoration of a perfect relationship with men and women whom He loves.
Do you know someone that could benefit from hearing this Good News? Easter would be a good time to invite them. In a survey, LifeWay Research discovered that 20% of adults were undecided as to whether they would go to an Easter worship service or not. (And even more interesting, they found that over 40% of adults who identify as Christians won’t be attending an Easter service.)
Scott McConnell of LifeWay says, “As one in five Americans keeps their options open, Christians have no reason to be shy about asking friends to join them for an Easter service." Jen and I made two different invitation cards to help you invite others (they are on the table in the foyer). God has laid on my heart to share the Easter story through the eyes of a fully-clad, Roman centurion. I am praying that it will be a message that will be understandable for all and for us to truly realize how much God loves us.