On Easter Sunday, April 12th, Olivet Center Europe commemorated the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ with an Easter service looking at the meaning of the cross of Christ. Pastor Andrew Clark used scriptures from John 19 and Luke 24 to explain the meaning of the body of Christ being broken.
In John 19, the world is turned upside down. The chosen people who are to welcome and accept the Messiah reject him, while the secular leaders of this world, represented by Pilate, fear the Son of God and the punishment that will follow. Nevertheless, Pilate was given the authority by God, but still crucified Jesus, whose great sin is recorded forever in the history of man.
The cross looked like a failure and shame. Even the disciples lose hope and disperse all to their hometowns, returning to their old life. But Jesus says it is finished, all is completed. Cross and death were not the end but the beginning.
Jesus appeared to two disciples on the way to Emmaus, but they did not recognize him. Even though they were already told that Jesus had risen, but they had no faith. For them the movement of the kingdom of God came to an end, there was no hope.
Jesus explains the scriptures to them, from Moses to the prophets, which represents the law and the prophecies. In the law, the sacrifice of the lamb is described in detail. All sins are imputed to the lamb which takes the punishment instead of the people. In Isaiah 53, it speaks about the Messiah who takes away the sin of the world.
When being taught the meaning of the cross, the disciples hearts were burning and they opened their eyes as Jesus broke the bread. They realized that the of Jesus death was not meaningless but it was the atonement and redemption through which they received new life. Breaking the bread symbolizes the body of Jesus being broken and coming to life again inside of them. The bread was gone but there was new life in them.
One needs to experience this resurrection and realize that Jesus brought salvation. Through Jesus one can have new life. Knowing this, the hearts will burn and all the sadness and despair will disappear. The disciples did not stay in Emmaus but went straight to Jerusalem to preach about this.
Christians are the ones who have faith in the cross and the Lord of resurrection. The cross is victory. Jesus is the king of suffering but also of glory, who fulfilled the prophecies . Now he is lifted up and reigns forever, spreading salvation to the whole world.