I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10b
Years ago I encountered a young boy who asked me why our group had come to their country in Central America. Working through a translator, I began to explain that we were there to serve their community and tell people about Jesus. The boy responded, “Por que Jesus?” which means “Why Jesus?”
Jesus answers that question directly, “I came that they have life and have it abundantly.” In a world full of violence and warfare, Jesus came that we might have life. To people who have only known poverty and want, Jesus came that we might have abundant life. For the blind beggar and the tax collector alike, Jesus came that in Him we might have the full and perfect life that cannot be found in this fallen world. Only in Christ can people know true life, namely forgiveness and eternal salvation. Apart from Christ, there is only depravity and death. That we might have life is the reason why Jesus came.
Our congregations, schools and individual members answer the question “Why Jesus?” each day as we tell others about the hope that is within us. For an increasing number of people around us the question is also, “Who is Jesus?” We live among people who have no knowledge of Jesus outside of bumper stickers and a name cried out in vain. Regardless of which question they might ask, the answer is still to tell of the Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep and the One who came that we might have life and have it abundantly.
The Easter season reminds us of the life that Christ came to bring. One way that this can be highlighted is by the pastor speaking the word of Absolution from the open baptismal font throughout the season. It is a visual reminder (that should also be explained) that the font is where we first receive absolution. Also, like the tomb, the font is where one passes from death to life and therefore receive the abundant life that Christ came to bring.
Prayer – Almighty God, merciful Father, since You have wakened from death the Shepherd of Your sheep, grant us Your Holy Spirit that when we hear the voice of our Shepherd we may know Him who calls us each by name and follow where He leads; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan