Reconciled through Christ! – A sermon on Romans 5:1-11 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
(Reading Mark 15:21-41)
I’m not a big fan of shopping centres at the best of times, with people milling about and canned music being piped through overhead speakers. And at times like Easter or Christmas it is even worse, isn’t it! It seems Christmas Day isn’t even over when the shops start marketing hot cross buns for Easter. And shortly after the “Easter bunny” makes his (or is it her?) appearance, together with shelves upon shelves of chocolate….. A former colleague of mine down in Sydney even has the tradition of hosting a huge Easter-egg hunt on his property for friends and family. Now I love chocolate as much as the next person, but that’s not what this time of the year is about, is it? Surely, surely there is more to Easter than the pursuit of an Easter bunny or chocolate eggs!
On this day – this Friday, this Good Friday – we recall and celebrate something of enormous importance, something that affects not only our lives on this earth, but also our eternal lives. And sadly this often gets forgotten in the materialistic and worldly world in which we live. The Easter bunny is more important than the death of the Son of God on the cross. More attention is paid to finding chocolate eggs hidden in a garden that in teaching children about the love of God that led to Him providing His Son to bring salvation to sinners. But that’s not really surprising, for in the post-Christendom world in which we live, faith in an all-powerful, all-present God isn’t really the done thing!
But friends, beloved in Christ, there is most assuredly something more to Easter than the Easter bunny! Salvation is in Christ alone! It is only through His death on that old rugged cross on Golgotha that sinners – yes, people like you and me – can be at peace with God. Now we know that people will argue that people are not sinful by nature but the infallible Word of God tells us otherwise. The whole of creation is groaning under the weight of sin, as Paul writes a bit later to the Romans.
We’re going to focus this morning on verses 6-11 of the passage we read a short while ago. These verses firstly tell us about ourselves, about ‘the human condition.’ We see that clearly in verses 6, 8 and 10. But they also tell us about the magnificent, glorious and amazing sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the sacrifice that we read about in the passage from Mark.
So let’s look first at what God’s Word tells us about our condition – what are we like by nature?