Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,
As we go about our labors this week, may we keep this one thought in mind … “He is Risen.” The tomb was empty and the victory was won. The Apostle Paul tells us, “If Christ has not been raised … you are still in your sins” (1 Cor 15:17). But Christ has been raised, our sins have been dealt with, death has been defeated! This is the message we consider in a special way this week; namely, that Christ once and for all died as our substitute upon the cross; but the grave could not hold him, and he rose the victorious king three days later. May this encourage you this week!
Events in the Life of our Church
1. Ladies ‘Mugs & Muffins’ at the Arendale’s home on Saturday, April 20th.
2. Monthly Fellowship lunch at the church after worship on Sunday, April 7th.
3. Outreach Sunday is slated for Sunday, April 21st.
4. Men’s breakfast on Saturday, April 6th at Denny’s on Gessner b/w Mills Rd and 249.
5. This week’s devotional is a reflection on Jesus’ words as to why he came to earth … he came to die!
I look forward to seeing all of you this Easter Sunday!
From the Pastor’s Desk
“A Ransom for Many”
Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Why Did Jesus come to earth? What was his ultimate purpose in leaving the glory of heaven and coming to earth to walk amongst sinners? Did Jesus come to give us an example in how to live? Did he come to give us wonderful teaching? Now certainly the answer to those questions is yes. Indeed, his life is an example to us; his teaching is without equal (John 13:15; 1Peter 2:21; Matt 7:28-29). But ultimately, he came to do much more! Ultimately, Jesus came to die! He came to earth to die for sinners! The incarnation was unto the cross! His life and teaching are meaningless apart from his sacrificial, substitutionary death upon the cross. Jesus himself tells us, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Perhaps the clearest ‘mission statement’ from Jesus’ own lips is found in our passage for reflection, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45; cf. Matt 20:28). There are two points to make concerning this verse. First, Jesus refers to himself as ‘the Son of Man.’ He says it is the ‘Son of Man’ who came to give his life. What does Jesus mean by this self-designation? Jesus is referring to the classic ‘Son of Man’ passage in Daniel 7. In that passage, the “Ancient of Days” (referring to God Almighty) is pictured as seated on his throne. And Daniel 7:13-14 speaks of ‘one like a son of man’ who came to the Ancient of Days. And to this son of man was given dominion and glory and a kingdom. Thus, in referring to himself as the ‘Son of Man’, Jesus is saying, “I am the son of man from Daniel 7 … I am the one who was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom.” In referring to himself as the Son of Man, Jesus is speaking to the heights and the glory which he left in the Incarnation. The Son of Man came down low. He left the perfect communion he enjoyed with the Ancient of Days to come to earth. Second, Jesus tells us what his death accomplished; namely, his death “was a ransom for many.” In using the language of ‘ransom,’ Jesus is referring to the ransom price that would be paid to redeem or purchase something. And what is stunning is Jesus’ statement that HE is the ransom – his life is the ransom price to set us free from our slavery to sin. Peter tells us that we were redeemed with “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19). On the cross Jesus shed his blood to set us free from our bondage to sin! Oh what glorious love! What unfathomable mercy!
Dear friends, as we reflect on the death and resurrection of our Lord this week, may these truths be on your hearts. That our Lord – the Son of Man – left his throne heaven … why?? … to die for sinners … to give his life as a ransom … to shed his blood that we might be made white as snow. And that, brothers and sisters, is cause to rejoice!!
– Rev. Robert Arendale