We’re fast approaching Easter. What springs to mind? Hot cross buns, Easter eggs, time off work – or at least paid work, as you perhaps eye up a long list of DIY projects? Maybe it’s holiday time. In the busyness of all we have to do, all we want to do, can we make room to remember all that Jesus has done for us? This excerpt from 'Counsel from the Cross' paints a vivid image of his love, his suffering, his sacrifice, all for you.

The gospel tells us that we are deeply sinful people but that we’re also deeply loved people. This reality, therefore, is to be the ground upon which all of our subsequent obedience, all of our put-offs and put-ons, must be built. The fact that we are deeply sinful yet forgiven will cause us to love much, as Jesus taught Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7. And nothing teaches us these truths like the gospel.

Remember the gospel again; hear his humble plea in the garden, see his bloodstained brow, hear the whip crack as it tears his back, smell the scent of blood that fills the air as he is hoisted up upon the tree, hear him cry in agony as the wrath you deserve is poured out upon him, and he is forsaken. Then let his words sink deeply into your soul, “It is finished.” All that he has come to do, all that you needed him to do, he has done for you. Feel the earth tremble, hear the curtain that separated you from the presence of God tear. Think about that kind of love and welcome, let your heart weep before him, and kiss him in worship as you humble yourself, loving him much. Now let the love that’s overflowing in your heart eventuate in true obedience, put off your old, dead, loveless ways of living,
and let the love that has been poured into your heart by the Holy Spirit create true
holiness of life.

Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ
Elyse M Fitzpatrick, Dennis E Johnson