If you came to one of our 14 Easter services at Central this weekend, you heard us close the message with a quote from John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian church in California. This comes from an Easter message that he did in the past. We used just the last part of this but here is a longer version of it. Christ provides the hope for the ultimate crisis in our lives. He has paid the cost of forgiveness!
“I cannot think of an Easter in recent memory where there was a bigger need for hope, for something that would breathe life into the human spirit. A year ago, so many people â€¦ felt like they were on pretty solid ground. [Now they] find themselves in circumstances they never would have predicted.
A lot of people â€¦ are feeling anxious. They have pressures â€¦ that they did not have [before]. They [regret] decisions they’ve made over this last year. They wonder where things will stand a year from now.
Nobody ever wants a season of hard times â€¦ to come, but when they do, they have a way of making you â€¦ ask, What am I really counting on? Am I building my life on a foundation that’s solid enough that circumstances beyond my control cannot take it away? That’s why I’ve been looking forward to Easter â€¦ [a time when] we gather to remember the only hope capable of sustaining a human life through everything.
People have not gathered for the past 2,000 years to say, ‘The stock market has risen. It has risen indeed.’ They have not gathered to say, ‘The dollar has risen. It has risen indeed.’ Or, ‘the employment rate has risen.’ Or, ‘the gross domestic product has risen.’ Or, ‘General Motors has risen.’ Or, ‘The value of your 401(k) has risen.’ Here’s the one hope that has held up human beings across every continent and culture for two millennia of difficult times of poverty, disease, pain, hardship, [and] death itself: ‘Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.'”