Message #5

April 1, 2023
Rev. Randy Booth

Happy Easter!

Easter is a picture of perfect stewardship.

The bible starts with God saying (Genesis 1) that his creation is good. Three times, after creation

days three, four, and six, says “It is Good.” At the end of the sixth day, after people had been created, God again said it was very good.

But it takes only a few chapters for the good to go bad. Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s limits. Adam and Eve’s sons settled a dispute about worship when Cain killed his brother Abel. Sin is more than breaking God’s rules: it’s breaking God’s heart.

Then a few chapters later, God comes very close to wiping out all people with a great flood. But sin continued and proliferated. Each one of us inherits a broken, sin-seeking will.

The good news is that creation can be redeemed! With the birth of Jesus in a physical body, God

affirms that creation is good (but broken).

Jesus was born in Bethlehem fully human and fully God. He willingly surrendered to sin and sin’s

full price of death, even though he never broke God’s rules or God’s heart. On the third day, he was raised in a new kind of body, a spiritual body. Yes, that sounds like two opposites, but now that we see it, it makes perfect sense. His body is physical because Thomas could touch it, and it still had the nail holes in his hands and wound in his side. Yet Jesus could also appear in a locked room without using a door. He simply disappeared from Cleopas and his companion at Emmaus after they recognized him in the breaking of bread. It’s no coincidence that Easter takes place on a Sunday. The first day of Creation in Genesis 1 (“Let there be light…” ) was also a Sunday. Resurrection Day is the first day of the New Creation.

Why is this a stewardship message? Creation is good. The new Creation is good, too. St Paul writes “that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT). God gives us new life, a new start in our current bodies with a promise that new bodies are ours when the New Creation comes in its fullness.

We’ve said all along that stewardship is how we respond to God. There is no greater display of grace than the resurrection of Jesus. The first thing he did was go to the people who betrayed and denied him to resume a relationship with them.

God has given us hope. Let’s not waste it by worshiping anything less. Christ is alive!

Easter affirms that creation is good. 

Let’s respond whole-heartedly.

Then an angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body way lying.” 

Matthew 28:5, 6, NLT