Tag Archives: Illustrations

“Out with the Old, In with the New”

12 Apr

Merry Easter!

My hunch is that no one said this to you this year. If they did, avoid them, they’re odd.

Derelict HouseThey’re odd because custom dictates that at Christmas we’re merry and at Easter we’re ‘happy’. Come to think of it, it may be the custom that’s odd. It’s odd also that Christmas is essentially condensed into one day (although, granted, there is much merriment surrounding that day) while the spoils of Easter celebration are divided between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Has no one ever thought of instead holding some sort of ‘Super Saturday’ event?

Why is it that Christmas comes once but Easter repeats in the space of a few days?

I think the essential answer is this: At Christmas we celebrate one truth – God takes on flesh. At Easter we celebrate two truths – Jesus died, Jesus rose again.

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul wants to remind the church of the Gospel, one whole truth, one whole message. But it comes in two bite sized chunks that are of equal importance. Have a look if you don’t believe me. The Gospel according to Paul is on the one hand (Friday) Jesus death & burial for our sins and on the other hand (Sunday) His rising to life again. It isn’t an either or, it’s a both and. Easter is essentially a dual celebration, celebrating Jesus doing, “Out with the old, In with the New.”

Here’s an illustration I used in church on Easter Sunday:

Imagine you buy a plot of land with a house on it. You buy it so you have somewhere to live. The only problem is that the house that stands there is dangerous, really dangerous. It’s dilapidated and it’s been condemned. You wont live in it and if you tried to you’d probably die.

So what do you do? You knock the house down (or get a team of experts in to demolish it for you.) You totally flatten it and remove the imminent danger. Problem solved right?

Well no. The immediate danger has been taken care of but you still don’t have anywhere to live. Just as important as ripping down the old is building a new dwelling in its place. So yet again you hire some professionals to design and build your dream home.

Problem solved.

MansionThis is a bit like Easter. Jesus comes and dies for our sins because they have left us in a very dangerous place, a place that inevitably leads to death. But if that’s it, if the danger of death is removed and nothing more, then we don’t have the Gospel, we don’t have ‘great news.’ Jesus comes and dies for our sins AND rises to life again. He takes down the dangerous house and replaces it with beautiful, glorious mansion. he takes away the imminent death and replaces it with eternal life.

And that’s why we can’t have a ‘Super Saturday’.  There’s too much to cram in, there’s too great a risk we’d remember one over the other. We need to celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Jesus’ Gospel work is in two acts but both depend on the other. He died to take away our sins and rose to give us new life.