A member of the congregation wrote to me today and asked if I could republish this devotion. She heard me use most of it in my Easter sermon. Thanks for the request!
"This is My body, which is given for you" (Luke 22:19).
The Gospel, in every way, is about the word give. It shows up in the central teaching of Christianity: Forgiveness. And the entire Gospel can be grasped by asking and answering five questions.
1. What (or whom) does the Father give? Answer: the Son.
2. What does the Son give? Answer: His life.
3. What (or whom) do the Father and the Son together give? Answer: the Holy Spirit.
4. What then does the Holy Spirit give? Answer: Faith, hope, and love into our hearts. [Faith that sees the cross, hope that sees the resurrection, and love that sees one another and all people.]
5. And finally what does love give? Answer: Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Now give these five questions a little bit of your time this week, remembering the seven words of the crucified-risen Jesus: "Take heart, child, your sins are forgiven" (Matt. 9:2).