Sunday 16 April, 2017.
WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS MEAN TO YOU?
“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission”, (Heb. 9:22)
In God’s redemptive plan He had in mind that through Adam and Eve humanity will be brought to Him. Therefore, in putting them in the Garden of Eden, they were to till and tend the garden, Gen. 2:15. So, God had fellowship with them and made sure they were happy and comfortable. However, He gave a specific instruction which should not be violated: “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, He said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die”, (Gen. 3:3).
Necessarily, God is a Person of pattern and so would not like it to be thwarted no matter what happens. In the building of the tabernacle He gave specific instructions to Moses: “and see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain”, (Ex. 25:40). Moses obeyed God to the latter. In the case of Adam and Eve, it was a violation of God’s pattern as they failed the test according to Gen. Chapter 3. There, it was recorded that they disobeyed instructions of God thereby sinning unto the Lord. It was a great pain in the heart of God as their disobedience truncated His plan for humanity. Prophet Isaiah was right when he notes that sin curses a separation between man and God, (Isaiah59:1-2). Naturally, Adan and Eve became alienated from God as a result of sin. Yet, God was determined to redeem the sinful humanity. Hence, there must be a shedding of Blood for remission of sin (Heb. 9:22).
In the Old Testament animals sacrifices were made in attempt to pacify God but that was a temporary measure, it did not take away the guilt of death sentence hanging on humanity. There was need therefore once and for all final and ultimate sacrifice, (Heb. 10:10). Jesus offered His sinless blood, Col. 1:22, 1 Pet. 1:19. His death on the cross pacified God the Father and the work of redemption was made perfect.
Today, some people are worried: why does forgiveness (remission of sin) require the shedding of blood? This is no arbitrary decree on the part of a blood thirsting God, as some have suggested. There is no greater symbol of life than blood; blood keeps us alive. Jesus shed His blood-gave His life-for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to experience spiritual death. He gave His own life to pay our penalty for us so that we might live. After shedding His blood for us, Christ rose from the grave and proclaimed victory over sin and death.
Therefore, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ this season, it behooves every believer to ensure that he receives Him as Lord and personal Saviour. Yes, He is the Lord of life and the hope of all humanity.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA,
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,