The Easter Code

By Pastor Mark McAdow
“Repent and Believe the Gospel.” Do you know who first used that phrase?  Jesus Christ.  In Mark 1:15 Jesus said, “The time has come.  The kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news.”  It was his very first sermon.

I used that phrase and others last night at our Ash Wednesday worship service, as I marked people with the sign of the cross.  As I read our Lenten devotional this morning in The Easter Code, repentance was the theme again. (If you don’t have a free copy of The Easter Code, be sure to come by the office to get your copy as we journey toward the cross and Easter 2023 together.)

Last night we were struck by the large cross erected on the platform during this season.  It is the focus of our Lenten journey.  It reminds us and represents Jesus’s sacrificial death and ultimate resurrection to pay for the cost of your sins and mine.  The Bible says in Hebrews 7:27 regarding the Lord, “He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”  Jesus paid our death penalty for each of us.  We deserve death but Jesus offers us life, abundant life, eternal life because of His great sacrifice of love.  It’s been said, “Our sins put Christ on the cross; his love for us kept Him there.”  Our sin. Yours and mine.

In Hebrews 4:15 it declares, “For we do not have a High Priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin.” Jesus is the only One who never sinned.  Never.  As such, He is the only one who could be a pure sacrifice for our sins.  Yours and mine.  His death brought us life.  Praise God!

Keep your eyes on the cross during this season and be reminded of Jesus’ great love for you.

We begin our six-week Bible study “When God Speaks” either this Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 9 a.m. in the Parlor, or this Wednesday, March 1, at 6 p.m.  You should begin your daily study today to be prepared for the first session’s discussion next week.  We all need to hear and respond to God.  It’s exciting to hear Him speak personally to each of us.

Yours in Christ’s Love,
Pastor Mark

PS: Our Willow View Welcome luncheon is this Sunday, Feb. 26, at 12:15 p.m. in the Family Life Center.  I’m looking forward to sharing lunch with several of you who’ve been attending Willow View for some time, as we move forward with Jesus.

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