It is natural for a Christ-centered university like Fresno Pacific to mark the Christmas and Easter celebrations with holidays from our normal work as servant-learners, and with special worship events such as the Choir Concert last Sunday and Lessons and Carols last Christmas season. In these ways we mark the beginning and the climax of the life of Jesus on earth. We rejoice in God’s resolution of his creator’s cosmic conundrum.
We are his creatures, made in his image to be in relationship with him. Our Creator God, our heavenly father, wants each person to freely and voluntarily choose a trusting love relationship with him in response to the holy perfection of his power and beauty and of his love for us. He desires a freely chosen relationship with each person he has made.
The problem is that if we do not voluntarily choose him, we will die from our refusal, so how can our choice truly be free when the consequences of rejection are fatal? We can “freely” choose God and have eternal life with him, or else die, eternally separated from God. If the alternative is death, how free is the choice? How can the handsome, wealthy and powerful prince know for sure whether the woman he seeks to marry loves him for who he is, or because he is handsome, wealthy and has the power of life and death over her. Would she marry him for love or from fear? Would she love him if he became poor, powerless and disfigured?
So God acted to allow a truly free choice. Jesus crossed the infinite distance between God, who is pure spirit and energy, and us, physical human beings who are limited and flawed in every way. He became poor and weak among us and allowed us to humiliate, torture, disfigure and ultimately kill him. He forgave us for doing that to him, and he rose to live again, welcoming us to join him in everlasting joy together. He who knew no sin became sin for us. Pure unbounded spirit became forever constrained by physical limits. Pure invisible and untouchable energy became visibly and tactically present with us. Divine spirit became human flesh.
A Fresno Pacific University education is an excellent academic experience—and more. The transformative power of what we do here is rooted in the power of the suffering, death and resurrection of our very human and very divine savior. If Easter were not true, the cosmic conundrum would remain unresolved, and this most precious and amazing university would not exist. But Easter is true. Jesus lives. So here we show that we love him because he first loved us. We follow him, studying and living out the fullness of his truth in every aspect of his creation, serving and seeking other followers in every culture, until the culmination of this age of his grace, and the full revelation of his glorious reign. Fresno Pacific is an Easter university.