Easter Celebration

Easter Celebration

CHOICES 
 
 
Everyone has the power to make choices. We do it all the time: small and big choices.  Easter brings us face to face with the biggest choice.
God gave the power of choice to the first couple: Adam and Eve. “Adam and Eve, youhave a choice: I have placed two special trees in this beautiful garden – the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You can eat the fruit of any tree in thegarden – except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat the fruit of that tree – you will surely die.” If they choose to eat the forbidden fruit they would 
die. 
This is the way it was with Adam and Eve. There was the choice that God gave them – “either” “or.” Obey me and live. Disobey me and die. There was the outside influence Satan. He lied. He told them the fruit was pleasing – besides, God told you not to eat it because He doesn.t want you to enjoy this delicious fruit. So they ate the forbidden fruit. In effect, they believed the lie of Satan. They believed the lie of Satan (he is 
always a liar) instead of God's Word (He never lies). You have heard the excuse, “The devil made me do it.” 
 
Some people make choices based on the immediate perceived benefit for themselves. However, the long range effects of that decision cannot be reversed. E.g. Say you rob a convenience store. The immediate effect for you is probably some spending money. The long range effect – you become a criminal, a fugitive. You may end up in jail, you have a bad reputation, probably for life. 
 
For Adam and Eve, the consequences of disobeying God and eating that simple pieceof fruit were devastating. That sin of disobedience and unbelief has been passed on from generation to generation – even to all generations everywhere. By this one man – Adam – sin came into the world, and death through sin. Therefor death passed to all men for all have sinned (see Romans 5:12).
We must pay the penalty for sin – DEATH! We cannot escape it!
How did God handle the disobedience of Adam and Eve? – the bible tells us: (John 3:16).
There is no way we can reverse this penalty of death – but God can, and did! May people wonder, “Why doesn't God just wipe away everyone's sin?” Because He is not just a loving God, He is also a just and righteous judge. That means: the penalty for sin – death – must be paid! (see 2 Peter 3:9) – “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, butthat all should reach repentance.” 主所應許的尚未成就,有人以為他是耽延,其實不是耽延,乃是寬容你們,不願有一人沉淪,乃願人人都悔
改。 
God sent His son to live the perfect life of a man in the world. And to die the death that is accepted by God as effectively paying for the sins of the whole world. Jesus died in your place. He took the penalty for everyone.s sin. He became sin for us. He died in our place. We remembered this on Good Friday. Today we celebrate EASTER! 
 
 
I don't know if the Greek Orthodox church still practices this Easter tradition: the day after Easter was devoted to telling jokes. They felt they were imitating the immensejoke that God pulled on Satan in the resurrection. Satan thought he had won, he was smug in his victory, smiling to himself. He congratulated himself that he had the last word. Then God raised Jesus from the dead, and life and salvation became the last 
words. 
 
The resurrection is the evidence that God accepted Christ.s sacrifice as payment from the guilt of sin. Jesus conquered death, hell and Satan. That is why Easter is such ajoyful day! Because He lives, we can live also. But only on God.s terms. God can pardon your sin because Jesus paid your penalty. To obtain this eternal life, you must receive it. A criminal may be pardoned by a judge, but the pardon is of no use unless 
the criminal receives the pardon. The criminal has to choose to receive the pardon. So it is with eternal life which Jesus provides for you through His death and resurrection. 
The alternative is death. 
 
It is your choice. There are many outside influences which tell you the lie. It is an “either” “or” choice. Either believe the lie which leads to death or obey the truth of God's Word which leads to life. 
 
There is the story of a Muslim in Africa who became a Christian. Some of his friends asked him, “Why have you become a Christian?” He answered, “Well, it's like this. Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions. You didn't know which way to go. There at the fork in the road were two men: one dead and one alive. Which one would you ask which way to go?” Easter brings us face to face with the biggest choice. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fork in the road of your life. Will you believe the lie which leads to death? Or will you receivethe pardon through Jesus Christ which leads to life? 
 
See, it's a matter of choice. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. Have you made that choice? You can today. 
 
Suggested prayer: Lord Jesus, I need you. I am a sinner and I ask you to forgive my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life andreceive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. 
Amen. 
 
 

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