The staff of The Western Journal is working a reduced schedule over Easter weekend to allow our employees the opportunity for rest and worship with their families if they so choose. We are re-publishing this article as a service to our readers, who reacted strongly to it when it first ran.
A version of this article previously appeared on the desiringGod.org website on April 8, 2012.
‘The whole point of Easter is that we get … blank.
How would you finish that sentence?
… we get justification.
… we get new life in Christ.
… we get the promise of imperishable physical bodies.
… we get the promise of eternal joy.’
For all the right answers we could give, there’s one even more fundamental purpose behind the holy week events, writes John Piper in his book “God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself” [37, 147]:
Until the gospel events of Good Friday and Easter and the gospel promises of justification and eternal life lead you to behold and embrace God himself as your highest joy, you have not embraced the gospel of God. …
The best news of the Christian gospel is that the supremely glorious Creator of the universe has acted in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to remove every obstacle between us and himself so that we may find everlasting joy in seeing and savoring his infinite beauty.
The saving love of God is his doing whatever must be done, at great cost to himself, and for the least deserving, so that he might enthrall them with what will make them supremely happy forever, namely, himself.
Therefore, the gospel of God and the love of God are expressed finally and fully in God’s gift of himself for our everlasting pleasure. “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Tony Reinke (@tonyreinke) is senior writer for Desiring God and author of “12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You” (2017), “John Newton on the Christian Life” (2015), and “Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books” (2011). He hosts the “Ask Pastor John” podcast and lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and three children.
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