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Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful Easter

The great preacher Charles Hadley Spurgeon was walking the streets of London deep in thought when he saw a young street boy. The lad was carrying an old, bent bird cage. Inside was a tiny field sparrow. Spurgeon stopped the boy and asked him what he was going to do with the bird. “Well, I think I'll play with it for a while, and then when I'm tired of playing with it, I think I'll kill it.”

He made that last comment with a wicked grin. Moved with compassion for the bird, Spurgeon asked, “How much would you sell me that bird for?” “You don't want this bird, mister,” the boy said with a chuckle. “It's just a common field sparrow.”

But then he saw the old gentleman was serious. “You can have this bird for two pounds,” he said slyly. Two pounds at that time would be worth more than £50 today an astronomical price for a bird worth only pennies.

Spurgeon paid the price, and let the bird go. The next morning, Easter Sunday morning, an empty bird cage sat on the pulpit of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle where Spurgeon preached. “Let me tell you about this cage,” Spurgeon said as he began the sermon.

Then he recounted the story about the little boy and how he had purchased the bird from him at a high cost. “I tell you this story,” he said, “because that's just what Jesus did for us. You see, an evil spectre called Sin had us caged up and unable to escape. But then Jesus came up to Sin and said, “What are you going to do with those people in that cage?”

“These people?” Sin answered with a laugh. `I'm going to teach them to hate each other. Then I'll play with them until I'm tired of them “and then I'll kill them.'

“How much to buy them back?” Jesus asked. “With a sly grin, Sin said, “You don't want these people, Jesus. They'll only hate you and spit on you. They'll even nail you to a cross. But if you do want to buy them, it'll cost you all your tears and all your blood your very life!'" Spurgeon concluded,

That, is just what Jesus did for us on the cross. He paid the ultimate, immeasurable price for all who would believe, that we might be free from the inescapable penalty of death.”

That is the message of Easter, Death has been overcome, and so has life. You and I can be free, free as that bird delivered from its cage.

And finally -A young boy came home after Sunday school and was asked by his grandmother what he learned that day. He said, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have ever laughing life.”

And that's the Good News for today - We can have both everlasting and ever laughing life.

We are free. HAPPY EASTER. With my love and prayers. Rev Pat

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