by Jennie Wintermote, WDC Resource Library Director
In March, the WDC Resource Library’s Final Thursday Book Discussion was on Michele Hershberger’s book, Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does It Make? The central question Michele addresses in this slim volume is “What does the death of Jesus mean, and how does that death affect individuals, communities, and the whole cosmos?” She writes, “We long to become one with God, and we struggle to understand how Jesus being executed by Roman authorities more than two thousand years ago helps us do that.” (p. 10)
Perhaps more than any other day of the year, we celebrate this great mystery of atonement (the reality of being one with God) on Easter. We joyfully celebrate the mystery of Jesus’ victory over death and the certainty that we can be one with God–forever.
On Easter, I also celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin. While a student at Hesston College, I was exposed to the idea that one way to view sin as the brokenness (or broken relationships) that exist between us and God, us and others, within ourselves, and with the entirety of creation. We certainly live in a broken world!
This Easter I was able to celebrate in new ways as I found the joy of forgiving another–not for their benefit, but for my own. When, as a part of a healing journey, the time comes when we can courageously release brokenness and our own need for justice to our God of justice–we can experience the healing that is possible through the mystery of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. God can and does offer the healing of our brokenness, the healing of the sin in and around us–and that is Good News.
To explore for yourself what the death of Jesus means, and how that death affects individuals, communities, and the whole cosmos, contact the library to borrow a copy of the book–or the Book Bundle for Group Study and explore the text with others. You’re also invited to join our Final Thursday Book Discussions. On April 29, we will discuss Raising Disciples: How to Make Faith Matter for Our Kids by Natalie Frisk. To sign up or borrow a copy of the book email: firstname.lastname@example.org