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12 April 2017

Easter changed my life: Ian's story

Easter changed my life: Ian's story

 This is part of our #EverythingChanges series. We celebrate Easter as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has changed our lives forever. We'd love to hear how your life has been changed by the cross, too. Share your story on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #EverythingChanges. 

Whenever I look at the cross, I'm reminded of a time, as a young teenager, when gazing upon it changed my life forever. How we see things matters. Is the cross simply a symbol of torture and death, or as I found out over 40 years ago, a symbol of hope and life?

Today, each time I look at the cross, I see my life through that lens of hope. I'm put into the context of eternity, and I'm instantly connected with the God who cares about me and desires the best for me.

That profound encounter during those confusing teenage years brought about a perspective that changed my life and transformed my thinking forever. It was a pivotal moment where everything changed. My life and purpose would never be the same again.

Being brought up in a Christian home, I'd seen the cross many times and I thought that I understood its symbolism, but I knew deep down my life still lacked meaning and purpose. I had some great foundations, but I needed to know what the cross meant for me. 

From the first moments I can remember, I had begun a conversation with God. When I was a very small child, my aunt bought me a Bible. In the front she had written, "For God so loved Ian that he gave his only son that if Ian believes in him, he shall not perish but have eternal life" In those first few years of my life, this verse had set in motion a desire to have a conversation with the divine that was personal to me.

Jesus was either the most significant person I would ever encounter, or he was just another good guy with some great ideas from whom I could learn. What set Jesus apart was not just his life, but his death too. I knew in those teenage years of my life, that my decision to follow him and to allow him to shape my life was either the most important thing I would decide, or it didn't matter at all. In life there are some decisions that matter, and mean the world to us, and there are other decisions that do not. This decision was one that mattered. I realised then that Jesus was the lens through which I could begin to understand the world around me, and my place in that world. 

This man who chose to go to the cross did so for me, that, 2000 years on, I would be able to partake in an amazing relationship with God and also experience the redeeming nature of God. 

I'm still having that conversation, I'm still being redeemed, and I'm still discovering my place in the world.

Man has been searching for God since time began. Jesus opened up that conversation between humanity and divinity and in it revealed the relational and redemptive aspects of the divine.

Today Jesus remains one of the most talked-about and influential people who has ever lived. Every Easter Christians throughout the world, celebrate the fact that he rose from the dead, and in doing so he changed the world for ever. 

Why not use this Easter time to find out more about him? Is he who he claimed to be? Can his message help us in our lives today? 

You have nothing to lose …

Ian Mayer @ianrmayer