Of Greater Import: Don't Forget Easter as We Move Toward Election Day
- Monday, March 24, 2008
What do the power locks on my 96 Nissan Sentra, the kind lady checking my receipt at the Costco exit, and the security guard pacing the hall at a Colorado church all have in common?
Each is evidence of an undeniable truth. The truth is this: We live in a radically sinful world. A world beset by evil and wickedness on every side.
The power locks on my car acknowledge the reality that someone may be tempted to open my car door and take whatever valuable may be inside.
The presence of the kind lady at Costco is an acknowledgement that there are some people in this world who would attempt to leave a store with good they didn't pay for.
The security guard at the Colorado church is a stunning reminder that we live in a world where a deranged gunman might open fire on unsuspecting and innocent people.
Right now we're in the midst of a heated political season. Across the country, millions of people are projecting their hopes upon a single candidate, someone who they think will be elected and solve all of our country's many ills. Some even think certain candidates can change the world.
We’ll be told - time and again - that this next election is the most important in our lifetime. That the fate of civilization teeters on this very choice.
But, in light of what we know as believers, is that really true?
What Jesus Offers
I would submit to you that what happened this past weekend over 2,000 years ago is far more important than what the voters will decide in November.
Jesus entered a world very similar to ours. The Jewish people had long pined for a Messiah. Someone who could rescue them out of their terrible bondage and oppression by Rome.
And for a while, Jesus seemed to be that guy, didn't He? He talked of establishing a Kingdom. He even appointed 12 disciples. He did miracles.
People were enthused. They laid down their coats and their palm branches for Him.
But soon, they were disappointed. Jesus wasn’t offering political solutions. He wasn’t promising revolution. He didn’t come to rule.
Instead, Jesus came to strike at the root of the problems of the day. It’s the same root of the same problems we face in America and around the world today.
Mankind is in sin. In Ephesians, we’re told that sin has left us dead. Jesus came to bring us life. Eternal life.
The true solution to the problems then and now is not a new government program. It's not a 12-step recovery manual. It's not a lifestyle change.
Jesus is the solution. His death, burial, and resurrection on Easter give us the hope of eternal life. He assumed all of the sins of mankind — sin which is at the heart of every evil that has ever been perpetuated among mankind — and took this upon Himself. In exchange, Jesus offers His righteousness. It’s a free gift, we’re told in Ephesians 2:8-9.
By believing in this free gift, we’re not only assured eternal life in Heaven, but we’re endowed with the Holy Spirit, who remakes us, redeems us, and restores us to our original purpose in creation — to glorify God. Redeemed sinners now have the power to live above sin.
The Jesus of Judas
But people didn’t want this kind of Jesus. They didn’t want to acknowledge their sin and need for a Savior. They wanted physical remedies.
And that’s what people want today. They want a political savior.
My conservative friends think that if we just could elect the right combination of charisma, smarts, and rigid conservative policies, then we'd be able to eradicate abortion, crime, and the deficit.
The liberals feel that if we just put poor people in the right environment, if we just had the most carefully crafted government proposal, then we'd solve poverty and injustice and racism.
Conservatives think that if the U.S. would just stay strong on the offensive, we could eliminate terrorism, just like we eliminated fascism and communism and every other horrible -ism.
Liberals think that if we just get everyone together, play some really funky New Age music, and contemplate peace, then we'd actually have peace.
I’ve got news. Both sides are wrong. Both sides are projecting their hopes and dreams upon movements of man.
Jesus is the only solution. The Gospel is what changes people's hearts and minds. And my Bible tells me that this world will continue in sin until Jesus, the Prince of Ppeace, comes again to reign as King. This utopia we long for will be satisfied in Heaven.
Let's Live Like Christians
I don't expect the secular world to understand this. In fact, we’re told in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that those who don't know the Lord can't “discern” the things of God.
But as Christians, we should know better. That’s why we should stop putting our hopes and dreams in the political process.
Does that mean we shouldn’t be engaged? Of course not. God has given us a stewardship, as Americans, of selecting our leaders. This is a rare opportunity to make our voice heard.
But we should never let our political activism replace our first call — to share the gospel with the world. Furthermore, we should be grounded in the reality that this world is fallen and that Jesus Christ is the only solution. We should not fret, but be hopeful, because we have "read the last page of the book, and we win."
- That means the Bible should guide our lives, not Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or the Drudge Report.
- That means we should be more passionate about sharing our faith than sharing our political opinions.
- That means we should be concerned about the poor — but concerned mostly about their spiritual destiny.
So here is a reality check. Are you living as if Easter is more important than the first Tuesday in November?
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