The hope of Easter
Our heart is for youth to learn about Christ’s love for them. In recent weekly Bible studies, residents have been discussing the parable of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-26 with Campus Pastor Tim Hartzler.
In this parable, a young man asks Jesus in verse 16, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
After stating there is only One who is good, Jesus gives a list of commandments to keep in verses 18-19: “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The list gets progressively more difficult to follow and yet the young ruler claims he has done them all.
Their conversation continues in verse 21 with Jesus saying, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this, the young man went away unwilling to follow because he had great wealth.
The young ruler wants so badly to earn salvation, but that’s not how it works. Jesus wants him to admit his sin and need. The truth is that we are all sinners. The good news is that we do not have to earn forgiveness. Christ came and died to pay our debt. It’s a free gift available to all.
We share the Easter story with our youth through words and actions all year long. We reflect on and live out Christ’s most amazing proof of love—the cross. Without Him, we are lost but with Him, we all have hope.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NIV