I had the privilege this morning to see and hear a man I truly admire: UGA Head Football Coach Mark Richt.
Coach took the stage and almost immediately, he dove into what he wanted to share. Coach Richt said, "I am 50 years old now. And, one of the things I have learned to do as I have gotten older is to get right to the point."
From there, Coach Richt shared the passage out of Luke, where the resurrected Jesus is walking along the road to Emmaus with two of his disciples. Coach shared how these two men were dejected because their savior was "dead," and there were not sure what to do. But, Jesus walks a little longer with them, and ultimately reveals himself to the disciples, once again filling them with hope, and proving that he is who he said he was. Coach shared why he has chosen to put his faith in Jesus Christ.
The first reason is because of the hundreds of prophesies we read about in the Old Testament that were all fulfilled when Jesus came into the world, and ultimately paid the price for our sin.
The second reason, Coach Richt shared, was because of the passion and conviction with which Jesus' disciples lived their lives after he ascended into heaven. Because they trusted God more than the religious authorities of the day, all but one of Jesus' disciples died horrific deaths - stoned, crucified, imprisoned, beaten. Coach said there's no way someone would choose the harsh life or death that these disciples endured unless he or she was absolutely certain that what they were saying was the truth.
Finally, Coach Richt said the primary reason that he put his faith in Christ is because he came the realization that he was (is) a sinner. He was confronted with the fact that without God in his life, there is no true peace. And, the only way to have that peace is to invite Jesus - God's one and only son - into his life to cover his sin, and allow him to have a relationship with his Heavenly Father.
It was a simple message, but was right on the money. And, with it being Passion Week, it came at the perfect time. On this same Tuesday nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus was only three days away from being humiliated, tortured, and crucified. All so you and I could be reunited with God in heaven when we die.
This gift, too, can be yours when you choose to invite Christ into your heart. If you've never done it before, just lift up this simple prayer to God right now:
God, I know that I am a sinner, and I have fallen short of your best for my life. But, today, I want to change that. I acknowledge that your son - Jesus - was brought to this earth so that he could die for my sins. I thank you so much for his sacrifice, and I invite him into my life today to be my Lord and Savior. I don't want to live for myself any longer. I want to live for you. Thank you for saving me.
May this Easter be the most meaningful and joy-filled Easter you have ever experienced!