Viewpoint from Rev Dan Waite 02/04/10
by Rev Dan Waite
Associate Vicar at St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston
I had always considered myself to be a Christian. I thought, I live in a Christian country, my parents were active Christians and I accepted in general the principles of life that they had taught me, so I must be a Christian too. I didn’t really bother going to church, but I tried to live a good life – as I interpreted it
My understanding of what it meant to be a Christian completely changed when I turned 42, I was sitting with my family at Carrow Road listening to Billy Graham, a famous Christian speaker, talking about the Christian faith. He explained the significance of the death of Jesus Christ on a cross and I suddenly realised that Jesus had died for me. From a child I had understood that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but suddenly that understanding became personal. It felt like a light had switched on in my mind – He died for me!
For the first time, I also understood the reason why He had to die. Jesus had died for me, in order to give me a way back to our Father God. I knew that I wanted to respond to that. I knew that Jesus had died to give me the opportunity of eternal life in heaven, so I just had to give my life to Him
I wanted to recognise Jesus as my guide and I had to look to Him for all I needed in my life. So, on the green grass of the Canaries Football Stadium, with my family and hundreds of others that day I stood and committed my life to Jesus. I started a new life that day, no longer holding Jesus at a distance but instead attempting to put Jesus at the centre of everything I did
This Easter weekend we celebrate the amazing story of Jesus death on a cross and His resurrection. It is a story of contrasts.
This Friday, Good Friday, we will be remembering the tragic and horrific death of Jesus, the Son of God, who died on a cross two thousand years ago in Palestine. In our local towns and villages, across the country and across the world Christians will gather to walk out on the streets and follow a replica cross to acknowledge publically all that Jesus Christ put himself through so that we could be redeemed, and so He could offer us a way back to our Father in heaven. Then on Easter Sunday, we come to celebrate in our churches that God raised Jesus back to life. This is so symbolic of the new life that we can enjoy with Jesus
The death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection is the central fact on which the Christian faith is built. In our easy going society today, the word sin, a simple word which embraces all our wrongdoings, is not often used. We tend to have our own scale of wrong actions, some we tolerate, and others we think should be punished.
But we have been created by a Holy God and it is His standards by which we will all be measured. Because He knew that we would find it difficult to meet His standards, He did something about it. In his love for us he sent Jesus to show us the way to live, and sent Him to deal with our sins. God wants to restore us to a relationship with Himself and to give us eternal life.
This Easter go to a Church near you and find out for yourself that Jesus died for you. How you respond to that fact could change your life for ever.