Legacy celebrated the resurrection of Jesus with Christ-followers around the world on Sunday. Our focus for the day was that Jesus' answer to the problem of evil and suffering offers us hope: trusting God that something good can come out of something bad. (If you would like to hear my message, you can hear it here.)
I concluded that Jesus' death gives us hope that God is with us in the middle of our suffering and trials. (See Hebrews 4:14-16. I encouraged us not to moralize that passage, but to let it speak of Jesus' presence with us in our suffering.)
I then reminded the listeners that Jesus' resurrection gives us the hope of heaven, which we can taste now. (See Romans 8:18-25. For you theology buffs, this is the "already-not yet" perspective of N T Wright and others.)
My final conclusion was that we who trust Jesus to be God's ultimate answer to our problem of evil and suffering are to live as if we are God's present answer to the problem of evil and suffering of others.
Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection answers our question Is God Good? finally because he took on evil, suffering, and death and defeated them for eternity.
The church--Christ-followers--is to be God's present answer to those realities because we are to live like Jesus and take on the suffering of others and resist the evil around us! When the church, God's restored people, do not act out the suffering, sacrificial love of their Servant Leader, then the world suffers and wonders why we build our buildings and run our programs.
We closed our celebration with real stories of people impacted by real suffering. One of the most griping stories was how a family who experienced the death of their daughter in a car accident will open an orphanage in her name in Africa this year. You can read her story and participate here. Their actions are truly living out the hope of Easter by building something good out of something bad.
We begin a new four-week series with family worship called, edit your profile, this Sunday. Join us!