Monday, April 17, 2017

Keeping Our Focus on Christ's Death and Resurrection

Now that Easter weekend is mercifully over, we can get back to largely ignoring Jesus' death and resurrection. Wait, did I just say that?

The church as a whole does not, I'm convinced, actively ignore the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. However, for much of the year these wonderful truths are not the church's focus. Simply put - they should ALWAYS be the church's focus. These two events stand at the epicenter of our faith and salvation. They are of core importance.

Paul reminds us of this in I Corinthians 15:3-8 (ESV).

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

The apostle refers to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as "of first importance."

We live in a culture that is extremely busy, if not very efficient. As often happens, the church emulates the culture. Most churches have all sorts of activities. Larger churches, especially mega-churches, have stuff going on all the time. My belief is that all this busyness is the primary cause of the lack of focus on the death and resurrection of Christ.

Let's be less busy. Let's also be like Paul and remember what is of first importance.

4 comments:

Peter Horvatin said...

Yes, this is our blessed foundation!

Pete

Ruthie Ross McClelland said...

Very true, Eric.

T Aagard said...

There is a specific practice that flows from the "focus" that Jesus exemplified. "‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

Hebrews 10:19 - 25 The practice of "the new and living way" opened up for us through the curtain..."by the blood of Jesus is culminated in the "meeting together" of God's people, fully prepared to "stir up one another to love and good works" and "encourage one another". They are preparing all week by "let us draw near with a true heart"; let us hold fast our confession of faith"; and "let us consider how we can stir up..." Step 4 is meet together and deliver.


19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

When God's people gather for an alternative practice of meeting, they reject the practice of the "new and living way" purchased by the "blood of Jesus". Every week is to be "focus" and "practice". "And all the more as we see the day approaching."

Eric said...

Tim,

Well said. Thank you. Christ's crucifixion and resurrection indeed enable us to be the church He expects. We can be thankful that He has shown us in scripture just what that church should look like.