For those of you that don't know Franklin Graham, he is the oldest son of Billy and Ruth Graham, and has helped bring food, medicine and the Gospel to the starving and sick through the international relief agency, Samaritan's Purse. (You may have heard of Operation Shoe Box at Christmas time.) He has also followed in his father's footsteps and preached the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Today, Franklin leads both organizations as they strive to advance God's Kingdom.
Here is his Easter message:
The Message of the Cross
The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ sets Christianity apart from every religion of the world. No other prophet gave his life purely for the sake of sinners—not Buddha, not Confucius, not Muhammad. No one else rose from the grave, demonstrating for all time that He has power even over death.
On the original Palm Sunday, the day of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, crowds hailed Him like a prince about to become a king, or a politician promising them the world. They didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about when He told them, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32, NIV).
Those words were still fresh in their minds on Friday, when they saw Him lifted up—nailed to a cross like the worst of criminals. Jesus became a public spectacle, complete with a mocking sign that proclaimed in three languages that this dying man was the King of the Jews.
His followers would see Jesus lifted up in even more powerful ways, first on that Sunday morning when He was raised from the grave, and then weeks later when He ascended into heaven—with a glorious promise to return someday.
It all goes back to the cross, where Jesus paid sin’s penalty for you and me, so that by simply repenting of our sins and trusting in Him, we can have everlasting life with Him.
Everything we do at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is intended to bring people to the foot of the cross, where they can understand what Jesus has done for them and have an opportunity to commit their lives to Him. That’s why we designed the front doors of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte as part of a 40-foot-high glass cross.
We praise God for the opportunities and resources He has given us to tell the world what Jesus did on the cross. Just a few weeks ago, He made it possible for us to go on television throughout much of the Middle East and Asia to present the Gospel. We’re hearing wonderful testimonies of many, many people who were saved as God opened their hearts and enabled them to understand and respond to the message of the cross.
The Bible says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV).
Bible verses marked NIV are taken by permission from The Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, Colorado Springs, Colo. ©Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
From the March 2008 issue of "Decision" magazine
Easter is a promise God renews to us each spring.
A promise that we'll always have Him there,
and like the flowers that bloom so bright
and birds that sweetly sing.