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April Newsletter 2019
Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:50-54
It never ceases to amaze me how dramatic something has to be to cause someone to believe what they are seeing right in front of their eyes. Looking back at my own life I’m amazed at how stubborn and prideful I WAS before I was willing to see the truth right in front of me. In the passage above we know that the centurion and others must have heard the stories of Jesus numerous miracles. But it took the dramatic events of that day to convince them.
I loved the move “Risen” that came out last year which showed the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection through the eyes of a Roman soldier. In fact, I very much identified with the movie as I always try to put myself in the passages of Scripture that I’m reading. In Jesus interaction with the Disciples, am I Peter? Or John? Or Thomas? Or am I, at times, even Judas? Is He talking to me? Do I hear what He’s saying? The truth is I am all of them at times. I’ve denied. I’ve been incredibly loved. I’ve doubted. And I have regrettably betrayed.
These truths, as hard as they are to face and admit, continue to drive me to the foot of the cross. And that is where MY dramatic event occurred. It was there that I, for the first time, EXPERIENCED forgiveness. I’d always heard that Jesus died on the cross so my sins would be forgiven. But it wasn’t until I turned and faced the reality of who I was and what I had done that I experienced the grace and mercy of the cross and the empty tomb. I’ve heard it said that the only problem with having the Savior is that you don’t get Him unless you need Him.
At LifeQuest we are committed to making sure the young men and women we serve hear the different dramatic stories of Jesus. The truth is we have no idea which Scripture might open their eyes and ears to see and hear and cause them to say “Truly, this was the Son of God.” And the other reality of our ministry is that we might never get to hear them utter those words and mean them. Maybe those words come in one year, or five years, or twenty years. We don’t get to decide that.
May this Easter Season fill you once again with the awe and wonder of those events that took place so many years ago. Thank you for helping us through your prayers and financial support to continue sharing with these young people. And may each of us hear anew whatever it might take to reaffirm our words, “Truly, this was the Son of God.”
John D. Jones
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