Bishop Philip JonesAlleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

On Easter Sunday I preached from the gospel of Luke, 24:1-12. The angels say to the women, “the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise” (v.7). The fact that it was necessary for Jesus to die is often not recognized or is overlooked.

The crucifixion wasn’t just the tragic loss of a great person. Even during the events of holy week, Jesus was in control every step of the way. Jesus went to the cross, living out of love, in order to accomplish his ultimate mission even at the cost of pain and loss. However, none of this is an accident, as the text tells us Jesus must do these things for our salvation. The Greek word used, “dei”, means “must” (v.7). It was a necessity.

I received a text later that Easter Sunday from a man who has been in the church for over 50 years. He wrote that finally, for the first time, he realized Jesus Christ had to die. It was not an option. Not if our redemption was to happen. This is a reminder to all of us, that people who have been in the church for a short or a long time, who have attended classes, been to an Alpha course, or led small groups, can still not quite get it.

Our lives are lived in grateful response; To the degree that we understand and live as though he, Christ, had to die, we will be grateful. On the other hand, our lives are lived differently to the degree that we don’t realize, or forget, that He had to die.

May God bless you throughout the 50 days of the Easter season. Easter freedom, peace, joy and power are ours as we continue to reflect and recognize the necessity for what Christ has done for us on the cross.

God bless,

+Philip