"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself."
(2 Corinthians 5:19)
God revealed his true nature and his plan for man's salvation in Jesus Christ. In other words, God's true nature is found in his perfect love for us; God's plan was that he sent his son into the world that he might save us from our sins and give us the gift of eternal life.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." ( John 3:16).
That God's plan might be accomplished in us, Christ did three things: He taught us the way of life; he offered himself on the cross for the sins of the world; he established his church for all who believe in him and through which we might receive all necessary guidance and grace. These three things revealed God's true nature and were the result of his perfect love.
Yes, God's true nature is found in his perfect love for us. We who accept God as revealed by Christ cannot accept the idea that life has no meaning, that existence makes no sense and that the world is controlled by irrational and impersonal forces. Despite our modern sophistication, the world is still strange and mysterious to us at times. Yet it is not a world where all is temporary and transient, where all passes away and perishes. It is a world where there is an eternal order, where our souls are in the hand of God, where Christ lives forever.
God has the last word in this world, and his word is perfect love. That is why he has made us for himself. That is why he cares for us as his children. That is why it is unthinkable that he would let us perish and be lost forever.
Why, then, should we fear the future when "perfect love casteth out fear?" (1 John 4:18).
Easter answers this. Easter is the good news -- the triumphant proclamation -- that Christ is risen and has opened to us the gates of everlasting life.
"Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The Rev. Robert Ninedorf is pastor of Church of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Edgefield, S.C.