The following is not my typical Saturday resolutions post, but since my New Year's resolution for the past three years has been focused on various aspects of becoming more Christ-like, and since this is Easter weekend, I want to copy here my response on BCC to Russell's post - then add a bit more about Easter:
When I talk about the Atonement, I also reference the Sermon on the Mount – and I emphasize the command to be perfect. The wording in verse 48 says, “Be ye therefore perfect.” In the overall context of Chapter 5, I agree that this conclusion means that we become “perfect” by becoming the type of “blessed” person described in the previous verses. Finally, our footnotes for verse 48 define being perfect as being “complete, whole, fully developed” – and I re-word that as “finished”.
It only was at the end of his time on the cross that Jesus declared, “It is finished” – just before he “gave up the ghost”. Iow, it only was after the cross that the Atonement was complete – that Jesus fulfilled his own command to “be ye therefore perfect.”
I honor Gethsemane, but when we ignore Golgotha we worship an incomplete, paritally developed, imperfect Savior and Redeemer.
There have been any number of pronouncements in the history of this world that carried special significance for those beyond the people to whom they were addressed. Among them, within just our Christian heritage, are the following:
"Multiply and replenish the earth."
"Moses, my son."
"For unto us a child is born."
"Thou art blessed among women."
"This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear him."
"It is finished."
All of these have grave import, but the greatest pronouncement in the history of the world might be simply:
"He is not here, for he is risen."
I simply add my voice here and state, with my own conviction, that, in a very real and powerful and important way:
He can be here, for he is risen.