Bombs in Brussels (Belgium), bodies on the streets of Bujumbura (Burundi) and Caracas (Venezuela) tagged as the most dangerous city in the world. Has the Message of Easter ever been so poignant, powerful and pertinent? Youth for Christ is God’s voice, crying in this wilderness of violence and horror, begging a generation to open their hearts to their Saviour, the very One who heals us with His stripes, with the lashes borne on His back. Jesus was no stranger to madness, murder and mayhem. The teenagers of our world today, living and watching the news, must hear that He understands, that He is no stranger to this global havoc and personal pandemonium. The Gospel Message is that the crooked, confusing roads will be made straight and that the rough days and ways will be made smooth, in Christ.
I love that these words of Isaiah’s are referenced many hundreds of years later about John the Baptizer, ushering in the King of the Kingdom. And leap 2000 years forward again, and we at Youth for Christ, as God’s envoys for this terror-stricken era, have the very same calling; from Isaiah, to John, to thousands of staff who live and serve and call out in over 100 nations of our world.
And why do we cry out? Why do we stand on the streets of Paris to pray, on the streets of Beirut to heal, on the streets of New York to save? Because this is God’s Great Redemptive Plan – “all people will see God´s salvation.” He is present in and through us. The Jesus of the Cross and of the Empty Tomb is also Emmanuel for this generation, through us! This is His promise, His embrace, His assurance. That every young person, in every people group, in every nation will have the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus and become a part of a local God-community, a local church. Now THAT is a Passion Week Story!