Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us that the real message of Easter is a precious goldmine:
Easter is an annual holiday celebrated by many millions around the world. For devout followers of Christ it is a highlight of the year; a time to give thanks to God for his great gift. For many others it may be the one-day they attend a church, because it seems the right thing to do. They hope it might help when the day of accounting comes.
For a vast number of people it has no meaning, so they simply treat this time as a holiday break from normal routines.
Christians see Easter differently
Millions of Christians commemorate the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus, especially at Easter, though most also celebrate the great victory of Calvary every time they take communion. Many Christians say that they regard Easter as the most important celebration of the year.
Many years ago I came across a great alliteration of the best-known verse in the Bible. To many this verse is not only well known and loved but they believe it is the greatest truth people can ever read or hear. I believe that John 3:16 is the most translated verse of the entire Bible.
This one Bible verse wraps up all the most important dimensions of God and us. It clearly shows the way to God, the extent of the love of God and the simple yet profound step we each must take to experience his forgiveness.
The twelve ‘greats’ of John 3:16 and Easter
This verse wraps up the gospel and the purpose of missions in clear terms. No one need miss this vital message from the heart of God the creator about his son Jesus our Saviour.
This Easter I share this alliteration of unknown origin, as it needs to be considered by men, women and children everywhere.
I invite every reader to take time to think on these twelve things.
1. The greatest giver – God
2. The greatest motive – so loved
3. The greatest need – the world
4. The greatest act – that he gave
5. The greatest gift – his one and only Son
6. The greatest invitation – that whoever
7. The greatest decision – believes
8. The greatest person – in him
9. The greatest deliverance – shall not perish
10. The greatest difference – but
11. The greatest certainty – have
12. The greatest possession – everlasting life.
Easter is far more than a holiday based on Christian tradition. It is much more than a religious festival. Easter is the celebration of eternal life made possible by the gift of Jesus Christ the Son of God. He purchased for all people of all nations redemption from the bondage and penalty of sin. He alone is the Saviour of the World.
This then is the meaning of Easter
And it is indeed the message of missions. The words of Jesus found in this best known verse in John’s gospel, begin with God and end with eternal life. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God is the one whom God has given to make the bridge between humankind and our creator. It is his death and resurrection that missionaries declare around the world. His resurrection is the proof of his atoning sacrifice on the cross.
If you have not previously considered the vital truth embodied in these verses, I encourage you to do so this Easter.
And, like the faithful missionaries who share the truths of the gospel, may you too pass this greatest discovery onto others!
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary statesman with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: firstname.lastname@example.org