New York Retreat Concludes: Knowing the Lord's Love Through the Cross
Jesus said to her "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." - John 11:25
The 2018 East Coast Easter Retreat gathering in New York was held from March 29 - April 1. Leaders gathered during Easter and heard lectures focused on the gospel message of Jesus Christ that while the penalty for sin is death, this could only be redeemed by the sacrifice of love of the Lord through his death. The messages also emphasized recognizing the risen Lord by knowing and loving his suffering.
Christianity is a religion that deeply meditates on the meaning of death. During the 40 days of Lent, the church seeks to find the meaning of this death. In fact, everything is connected to death. The core message of resurrection is that the Lord overcame death with love.
The Son of God Almighty died, resurrected and ascended. Even in nature, there is this phenomenon of death and resurrection. How much clearer is it for Jesus, God's Son, who died and resurrected!
The resurrection was witnessed by many. The first witness was a woman. Mary Magdalene loved even the torn body of the Lord, which was wrapped by linen prepared by Joseph of Arimathea. This woman who loved even until death was the first to witness the resurrected Lord. To love the Lord means to understand this terrible suffering deeply and to know the meaning of the Lord's bloody death. We have spent the last 40 days meditating on the suffering, and now is the turning point. Do you seek the living among the dead? The Lord resurrected and triumphed over death with love. The Bible clearly states that this is a historical event.
God prepared to send His Son. He chose His people, taught them through numerous prophets, gave them the law, and trained them. In the fullness of time, he sent his Son to this earth. The coming of the Son of God was to make us know God's love, and for us to be saved. God, who was up there, is now closer to us, and we can call him "Abba Father" like a child. God, who was not approachable or known due to the qualitative difference of time and eternity, became known through Christ. The only way to know God is Christ. The Lord said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." No one has evengone into heaven except the one who came from heaven - the Son of Man.
The Lord's death was conveyed to the two gentile worlds (in Latin and Greek) and the chosen people (in Hebrew). That death was reflected legally, commercially, and in light of the priestly code. The events of the atonement of Christ were legitimate, not only in Greek but also in Roman terms. In Chinese, "redemption" means paying in the slave market and freeing the slave. It is legitimate and lawful to pay and redeem. The world of redemption is so clear and accurate that there can no longer be any excuse.
After Easter, we will go toward Pentecost. Pentecost signifies a day of great victory, like a great emancipation and great amnesty. In Galatians, Paul says that the gospel, which is the proclamation of this salvation, cannot be changed even if angels should come down and preach. There is no other name to replace and there is no other gospel.
The sacrifice of the Lord who saved us at the cost of the crucifixion is the best love. The Lord said that there is no greater love than to lay down his life for a friend. And this love is called joy.