The following was published by The Gisborne Herald on Saturday 22 April 2006:
Kua ara a te Karaiti!
He pono tonu, kua ara a Ia!
Jesus achieved so much in his life and ministry. He gave people hope and healing. He opened their hearts and their minds. He showed them how to live, and how to be close to God.
Jesus reached out to the poor and the needy, and showed them compassion. Jesus stood alongside the hated and despised, and showed them forgiveness. Jesus made it known that salvation could be ours if we only asked.
Jesus challenged those in power. He stood against the selfishness and oppression of the ruling classes. He preached against those who used and abused others. And he did so without fear.
Jesus did all this for no gain of his own. His ministry was sacrifice. The message that he preached cost him his life. And he laid it down willingly, holding nothing back for himself.
So it was that Jesus was crucified and buried. His body was laid in a tomb. But the Gospels do not end there. Death is not the final chapter of the story. Because on the third day, God raised Jesus from the dead.
This resurrection is God’s declaration to the world: Jesus is worthy! God raised Jesus because his life, his ministry, his sacrifice, are worthy of eternity.
Would God look at us the same way? What parts of our lives would God resurrect? What portions of our speech and actions would God consider worthy of eternal life?
Without Christ we have no hope of attaining eternal life. But with Christ, we can live in a way that pleases God. With Christ, we can know life that is eternal.
This is the Good News of the Gospel: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Cover art by Steven Anderson