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Minister's Letter

Minister's Monthly Letter - March

Every picture tells a Story

Dear friends,

In our living room, hanging over the fireplace, we have an oil painting by a Christian artist that took seven years to complete. The artist, a personal friend of ours, went back to the painting time and again, a bit more oil here, a bit more oil there, until finally, after literally hundreds of hours of work, she had peace, nothing more could be added, the painting was finished. Our friend hadn't just painted a picture that looks good, she had put onto canvas a picture that tells a story, a story from God. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit an artist is able to give us a 'keyhole' view into the kingdom of God.

At Easter time we remember Christ's death and resurrection, as we participate in the events and spirit of Easter we also get a 'keyhole' view into the life of Christ and what He accomplished on our behalf.

George MacLeod helps us as he paints a picture of Easter; "Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on a town garbage heap; at a crossroads so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew, the language of the religious, Latin, the language of the barbarian, and Greek, the language of the cultured. It was the kind of place where cynics talked smut, thieves cursed and soldiers gambled. But it's where He died, and it's what He died about."

Are any words more victorious? Jesus draws a deep breath, pushes His feet down on those roman nails and cries: "It is finished!" What was finished? The history-long plan of redeeming you and I was finished. The work done by Jesus as a man on earth was finished. The task of selecting and training ambassadors was finished. The song had been sung. The blood had been shed. The sacrifice made. The curse of sin broken. The sting of death removed. It was over.

The words, "It is finished" were the same words they wrote across a receipt when a debt had been paid in full. Was any less acceptable? No! Would any more be required? No! "It is finished!" The cross is a trading post. At the point of believing faith, God takes all your sin and lays it on the shoulders of Jesus, while at the same time taking all of Christ's righteousness and wrapping you up in it. What a transfer! And how do you get it? By working for it? No! You receive it by trusting in Christ alone!

I pray that the finished 'Picture of Easter', painted by Christ Himself, and the story it tells, will speak to us all this Easter. May the life, death and resurrection of Christ not only be a 'keyhole' view into the kingdom of God's love for us, but a key that helps us to unlock the riches of heaven that God wants to shower down upon us.

Every Blessing