Summary: I want to introduce to you today a remarkable young man who had quite a year last year since our last Easter Service. It’s been an astonishing turbulent year, but if anyone knows about the message of Easter, he does.
SPECIAL GUEST AT THE EASTER SERVICE AT SHALOM, SYDNEY
I want to introduce to you today a remarkable young man who had quite a year last year since our last Easter Service. It’s been an astonishing turbulent year, but if anyone knows about the message of Easter, he does.
This young man has done a lot of world travel in the last year and has witnessed some amazing events all around the globe.
Do you remember Flight MH-370 that got lost and was never found? This young man happened to be in Malaysia Airport in March, seeing off some of His family members on flight MH-370 that day in Kuala Lumpur. He was one of the last to see that plane ease into the skies before it went missing. The world’s biggest aviation mystery.
We try to make sense of what happened. As the search efforts proved futile and the hopes of the families of the crew and passengers began to fade, he spoke to Danica Weeks, whose husband was on flight MH-370: She asked Him “How can life go on without him? How do you tell a small boy, who last waved his daddy off on a plane to go to work, that daddy will never come home again? …”
My young friend was there, giving hope, when relatives were trying to make sense of the lost flight of MH-370. He cried with them and comforted them in their grief and He brought God’s grace.
In fact if anyone knows about the true meaning of Easter he does.
A MESSAGE OF GRACE
I was talking to him before the service and He told me that Australians have been searching this year for answers. We have searched for love and life and hope and we have searched for God’s grace even in the midst of tough circumstances.
Australians have definitely had to explore some eternal issues and spiritual issues, issues of life and death in the last year.
As we spoke I realised that He is extremely well connected. We got to talking about famous people who died last year, … the people who have inspired us.
It turns out that he knew Malcolm Fraser personally. He spoke at the funeral of Gough Whitlam, who died at the age of 98 in October. He has sung with Joe Cocker with his raspy voice “You are so Beautiful”. He knew Rod Taylor the actor and encouraged Colleen McCullough with her creative skills to write “The Thorn Birds.” He played alongside Leonard Nimoy in the original “Star Trek” TV series. He knew Shirley Temple, Lauren Bacall and laughed, sometimes, with Joan Rivers and Robin Williams who all died last year. Absolutely incredible.
After Robin Williams died He was saying that He noticed that people were searching for answers to dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide. He was instrumental in giving many people the help they needed.
It seems more than co-incidental that this young man happened to be at the match and witnessed the tragic death of cricketer Phillip Hughes, who was killed when he was struck by a bouncer at the SCG. He helped Michael Clarke write his eulogy when he said “We must dig in and get through to tea. And we must play on. So rest in peace my little brother. I’ll see you out in the middle.” He spoke at the funeral and sought once again to bring God’s grace.
He told me that at funerals He often confronts people to think about death and dying because it’s too important to play games with eternal issues.
When he speaks at a funeral he often asks 2 questions “Have you come to a place in your spiritual life where you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven, or is that something you would say you’re still working on?” And the other question is…
“Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and He were to say to you, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” what would you say?”
These are good questions when we are faced with eternal issues. What would you say? “I’ve lived a pretty good life? Or She’ll be right mate?”
He told me about a gift that Philip Hughes had given to a friend of his – a signed cricket bat. It’s worth a lot of money now, I’m sure, but it was a gift. His friend didn’t pay for it or work for it or earn it in any way. It was given freely to him.
He says heaven is like that. You can’t earn your way to heaven by living a good life. Nobody can earn, work for or deserve heaven. It’s a free gift. And He’s right. That’s exactly what the Bible says about heaven. That’s exactly what the Easter Message proclaims. Heaven is a free gift. You can’t work for it, deserve it or earn it in any way.