Having Easter in our hearts
Having Easter in our hearts

 

 

 

Today is Easter. What does a pink Cross draped in the rainbow flag means to the Gay community?

If Jesus was born in the 21st century, would humanity, the people of faith have crucified Jesus? They talked about morality and lawlessness but ended up committing the greatest sin of killing God.

Humanity with her religious people of faith even compared Jesus a greater sinner than the worst human murderer, and sometimes we put sin on the innocent to “sanctify” the majority. If we have been ill-treated, surely Jesus got the brunt of a cruel humanity and religion.

Jesus was innocent yet suffered unfairly, not much unlike gays.

We need to forgive those who have sinned against us, for Christ first loved us. When we put our desires for justice on the Cross, and believe by faith that Christ will redeem and restore all that was stolen from us, would we receive our resurrection here on earth and for eternity to come.

 Jesus entered Jerusalem from the wilderness to the acclamation of many who heard of the power of miracles and the message of salvation for sins apart from abiding by the law but through baptism (John 3:22). But Jerusalem wanted Jesus for her own bidding, “salvation” of earth from the Romans  instead of forgiveness for their sin and a kingdom of heaven

Hitherto, Jesus had lingered in the desert places of Judea to preach the forgiveness of sins through baptism, demonstrated by supernatural healing and feeding of thousands. Although popular, He avoided popularity and remained humble and plain until the Pharisees had trouble identifying Jesus. The Pharisees, vary of His popularity, sent representatives to debate meaningless theological questions with Jesus. To them Jesus was an unqualified teacher, not ordained from a good Ivy league bible seminary, and certainly not God.

Jesus led a simple life, and had avoided confrontation with the Pharisees, Jewish rulers and Roman authorities. He was no activist trying to “save” the earthly kingdom, nor to establish religious kin-dom communes. Jesus came to proclaim the eternal Kingdom of God has come, ie the way to heaven from earth. There was no religious hierarchal structure, for all are equal before God, a sinner saved by grace.

Jesus led a simple life with no mega church pastor status (Mat 8:20). He was a friend of sinners for which Paul later understanding God’s grace himself said he was the chief of sinners.  Gays are far different from tax collectors and prostitutes, not particularly less sinful, but we are condemned simply for whom we are rather than our occupation.

The simplicity of life had to end, for Jesus had to die, so that His ministry would be extended in time and space through the Kingdom of God residing in the hearts of those who confessed Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

Jesus chose death, because this life and the kingdom on earth are temporary and because He loved us. There was no other way for the cup to be taken away, for His blood will bring righteousness to many, and His broken body, a new body to many. Hence, through His death, His believers were to become sacred temples to do His will, an abode for the Holy Spirit, and when they do die, to be welcomed Home in Heaven – ie an army of Christ like disciples.

In the greatest irony, Jesus died at the hands of humanity of people of faith, who shouted “crucify Him” (Mark 15:13). In their legalistic law based religion, there was no room for Jesus who claimed to be God, the One God of Israel, unique amongst all gods! They forgot Jesus healed and fed thousands supernaturally, so do many of us today.

Jesus had the ability to forgive sin, for only God can. They had a primary internal sin issue, and not a secondary external issue of the injustice. Humanity killed Jesus not because of love but because He preached the grace of God, the unmerited forgiveness of sins, in Himself.

For the Pharisees, Jesus was a popular unqualified teacher, a threat to their status, a blasphemer claiming to be God. Jesus in turn spoke in parables to them. For the Romans, Jesus was a leader of one of the many religious sect, and have done nothing wrong (Mark 15:14). At best, a lunatic claiming to be “king of the Jews”. Jesus in turn refused to do any miracles to entertain the Romans.

For common humanity,  Jesus was a sinner worst that the worst murderers (Mat 27:17), just because He claimed to be God, and did not succumb to their desire for a new kin-dom on earth.   Yet, Jesus loved the people and gave grace, and said “Father, forgive them…” (Luke 23:34).

Only when Jesus died and rose again, His own disciples begin to understand (luke 24:32) that Jesus was the Passover lamb, whose death was depicted hitherto in the yearly temple sacrifice. Here was the Lamb of God, whose forgiveness far surpasses the lambs that was slaughtered, for His forgiveness last for eternity (Heb 10:11-12). Hence, we worship God no longer at the temple of God, but when we are in Christ, we become the temple of God.

We live in the times of Noah, where many do not believe that a loving God would sacrifice His own Son, nor would send to hell those who would not accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. We protest our “this is not the God we worship …”, but the reality Cross with a bloodied Jesus who took our sins and punishment of God tells a different story.

By faith, Noah built an Ark (Heb 11:7). Noah Ark’s is a representative of Jesus Christ, yet only eight entered by faith even through the invite was inclusive, for all. The way into Kingdom of God is narrow (Luke 13:23,24), only in Christ, but available to all in an inclusive manner whether we are straight, gay, male, female, rich or poor.

In our human faith intellect, we often deny the supernatural, the reality of heaven and hell, and Jesus atonement of our sins. We mixed law with grace in our pride and self-righteousness. This is opposite to faith.

This is a fallen world under the influence of Satan, although there is much goodness, love, and morality in man for we were created in the image of God before the fall. We are not innocent and our sins could not be scrubbed away nor justified by religious faith of good works and moral living.  We talked about world systems of inequality, and condemnation against gays which is ultimately inspired by Satan. 

We live under the dispensation of grace. The Ark was built in 120 years. Ie the message of a longsuffering grace went out for 120 years (1 Pet 3:20). Methuselah, the grandfather of Moses, lived till 969 years old, the longest living man, whose name could be translated as “His death would bring judgement…”. Jesus died 2000 years ago, ie the message of grace went out for 2000 years.

What does Easter mean to us? It is not Christ death that was unique nor love the victory, but ultimate victory was in the resurrection. It meant that His sacrifice was accepted by God, and that Jesus had transcended space and time to be with us in the 21st century. Without the physical reality of an empty tomb all our assertions of God's love and faith is empty ( 1 Cor 15:14).

In resurrection, the curse of death, the ultimate end to a decaying earth has no power over us. (1 Cor 15:54,55). The victory is resurrection. 

Jesus is calling us to a simple life of faith to be in Christ, our Noah’s Ark. Love prepared the way, resurrection opens the door and faith enters it. Jesus has finished the work at the Cross, and we are called to rest in His finished work.

There is so much bitterness, anger and hatred due to the wrong doings we have suffered as gay people, and of lives lost. Easter is a time to forgive so that we can enter into God's rest.

As gay Christians, there must come an Easter resurrection in our lives where we begin to experience the goodness of God in our lives. It will come as we enter into rest in God, in the Ark floating above the storms of life. Let us enter by faith, into the Ark of God's rest and peace in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

 

 

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