Apples of Gold
Radio Script for April 22, 2011
“What Easter Means to Me”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
Here is what Easter means to me.
Oops, I’ve only said one thing so far, and already somebody’s annoyed with me for using the word “Easter.”
Yes, I’ve heard for years about the pagan roots of the word Easter, but language is fluid, just ask Fred Flintstone who sang about having a “gay old time.” The meaning and connotation of words can change over time.
For me, Easter has always meant the story of the death and the resurrection of Christ. It was the same for my parents and my grandparents and who knows how far back you’d have to go before you ran into someone who thought Easter meant anything but “He’s alive!”
I remember sitting in church with a bunch of family members singing those great hymns of Easter such as “Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” and “Christ Arose.” I remember Dad putting a big cross in our yard and draping a purple cloth over it at Easter. Yes, we did Easter baskets and Easter eggs, and there was never any doubt that it had anything to with anything other than celebrating the awesome resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
So the word Easter may have some funky origins, but to me it stirs up nothing but a thrill in my soul of the crowning moment of our Lord’s work here on earth.
And now, here is what Easter means to me – and I will simplify it into three categories.
First of all, it means forgiveness.
Ephesians 1:7 says we have redemption through the blood of Christ, “the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.”
Jesus shed His blood as He offered Himself up as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He paid the price for our forgiveness.
That means, through Him, my sins are forgiven! I don’t have to live under a burden of guilt or shame. I am clean through Christ! Though my sins were as scarlet, they have been washed whiter than snow.
And that leads me to the second thing that Easter means to me. Forgiveness makes it possible for me to have a relationship with my heavenly Father.
Ephesians 2:16 says that I have been reconciled to God “in one body through the cross.” Sin created a giant gulf between me and my Creator, but Jesus’ work on the cross spanned that gulf. As it says in Ephesians 2:13, I have been “brought near by the blood of Christ.”
And not just “near,” but listen to this. God now lives inside me in the form of His Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 14:7 that the Spirit would dwell with us and even be inside of us. I love this phrase in Ephesians 3:16, “…to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…”
So to me, Easter means forgiveness through Christ, and that forgiveness paved the way for God to live inside me. His Holy Spirit dwells in me, and He bears good fruit – all the “fruit of the Spirit” mentioned in Galatians 5 including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He loves me and comforts me and teaches me and leads me into all truth and brings fulfillment and purpose to my life; and that all goes back to what we celebrate on Easter.
And now the third thing that Easter means to me: hope for the future.
Titus 3:7 says that, “having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Colossians 1:5 talks about the hope we have because of what God has laid up for us in heaven.
Romans 8 says that, right now, we have the “firstfruits of the Spirit,” but we are eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope…”
Peter called it “a living hope.” Listen to First Peter 1:3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
My life does not end in the grave. The work of Jesus opened the door for me to have eternal life, and I have great expectations for the future!
So there you go, the three main things that stand out to me at Easter:
--That I am forgiven through faith in the shed blood of Jesus,
--That His forgiveness opens the door for the Holy Spirit to live inside me for the rest of my life on earth,
--And that His forgiveness gives me the hope of eternal life. And thus, like it says in First Thessalonians 4:17, I shall always be with the Lord.
And that’s what Easter means to me.
E-mail me: email@example.com.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2011 The Arrow’s Tip
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
Why “The Arrow’s Tip”? Each morning, after diligently seeking the Lord, I write Apples of Gold. Then before I release it to the public I pray one final prayer, “Lord, send forth your arrows.” I envision Apples of Gold as arrows, tips dipped in the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1), sailing toward the hearts and minds of men and women around the world.
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