Thought for the Month (April 2013)

This will be our last Easter newsletter and that focuses the mind. What do we really want to leave you with concerning the good news of Easter?

The anguish of the Garden of Gethsemane, the horror of Good Friday with the torture of the Cross and Christ's willingness to go through with it all; never attempting to talk his way out of it. Why did He do it? He did it for each one of us and that is the deep truth we are asked to grasp you and me!

In the torment of the Cross, Christ actually won something for each one of us. He defeated evil and won an incredible gift for us in the process. He won forgiveness for us, freedom from guilt; He won us the right to a new beginning, in short He won healing for us, healing in every sense. The big question is have we received this gift? Have we truly appropriated for ourselves all that He won for us and wants us to have?

Isaiah says, "By His wounds we are healed". Do we claim this promise, remembering God is more interested in our inner selves than our outer-selves? He is more interested in healing our inner turmoil, pain and unforgiveness and in building our character, than our outer physical pain, but he certainly does not ignore our bodies. Let us look at physical healing.

David Lewis, a teacher and evangelist who lives in Rusthall, wrote a book researching the healings that took place at the John Wimber conference at Harrogate in 1986. (John Wimber was exercising a remarkable healing ministry at that time). He noted an interesting phenomenon that relatively more young people and more poor people were healed than the older or better off, and that the better educated also received less healing.

David concluded that a key factor here was God seemed more likely to heal those most dependent on Him, dependent because they did not have the 'baggage' that being older, better off and well educated so often brings. People who do not have these resources were more likely to be healed through simple faith in Jesus Christ.

But Jesus died for us all and not primarily for our physical healing. Perhaps this Easter we all need to understand that no matter what resources we have available to us, nothing can substitute for what Jesus did for us on the Cross. He died so that we can be forgiven for our sins, delivered from all that restricts our lives and healed of our sicknesses. Our own earthly resources do not compare with these wonderful life transforming gifts that Jesus gives.

Money and education of course should be a blessing and none of us can stop getting old, but beware of the deadly baggage these things carry; pride, cynicism, self-dependence and self centredness. These destroy our faith and cut us off from the One who really can make a deep and lasting difference to our lives. Remember, 'Jesus lives' and live it to the full this Easter.

Happy Easter,

With love,

Rev. Karen and Rev. Bob Street

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church