The thought of a good man dying for me in my sinful state is baffling.
That action goes against every rational, reasonable thought developed in my childhood and as a grown man. But it is precisely that thought which causes me to realize that what God did, through the death and resurrection of Christ, was a reward given out of irrational love and unreasonable grace.
Jesus' victory over death is the incentive for you and me to be faithful bearers of the cross.
Everything we know about this great act of love indicates God intends to have the last word. God proved it on that first Easter morning.
In addition, we receive the guarantee that goodness will always triumph over evil.
Finally, the significance of Jesus' resurrection proclaims the victory of hope over fear. In our day-to-day lives, we sometimes are tempted to abandon hope for ourselves and our world. But this one thing I know for sure: God Who raised Christ from the dead is not baffled or defeated by despair or its cause.
After reflecting upon systems of rewards and incentives, I hope and pray that I will become the kind of Christian worthy of what Christ did for me on Calvary.
Robert Hayes Jr. is bishop of the Oklahoma Conference United Methodist Church and the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.