Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Mid-Week Message - For Us

"Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?  He isn't here!  He is risen from the dead!"  Luke 24:5b-6a  (NLT)

My childhood memories of Easter are probably like most of yours.  Little girls in pastel colored dresses and patent leather shoes, maybe a little white hat.  Mothers in nice new dresses, possibly a bright spring floral pattern.  Fathers and little boys in suits with nice ties.  Some of the children carried stuffed bunnies, or maybe even an Easter basket.  This was the sight in church pews as the organist or pianist began playing, "Up from the grave He arose! With a mighty triumph o'er His foes."  The voices would sing out more loudly than most Sundays as everyone was reminded what the true celebration was about.

After all the egg-dying and hunting, after the bunny delivers the baskets of candy and toys, comes the time to worship the true reason for yet another season, Jesus.  We rejoice because our Savior, who began His time on earth in a cow's feeding trough and ended it in a borrowed tomb after being tortuously killed on a cross, has done as He promised and has risen from the dead, resurrected, never to die again, so that we might have the assurance of everlasting life as well.  

He was not angry when He knew He had been betrayed.  He never fought back when He was being beaten and scourged.  He said not a word when he was spat upon.  He carried His own cross the best His broken and bloody body could.  He could have refused to be nailed to that wood.  At any time He could have come down.  He heard the taunts, watched as His clothing was gambled over, saw His mother agonized by the sight of her son being treated cruelly, suffered unsatisfied thirst, felt alone when His Father turned His face from Him and felt the pain of the spear in His side.  His response?  Forgive them.  

The nails they used did not have the power to hold Him in place.  But, the love He has for you and for me did.  He knew what He was going to go through.  He asked God while He was in the garden if there could be any other way to accomplish the plan of our salvation but He was willing to do what the Father willed.  And so, His words were, "Forgive them.  They don't know what they are doing."  That great love was meant even for his tormentors.  

I am actually a bit in awe at the timing of the crisis the world is currently in.  While we are hearing of death upon death, along comes the reminder that our Lord has conquered death's power.  Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior have become children of God and have the promise of eternity beside Him.  When we close our eyes on earth, we will open them in Heaven because He loved us enough to endure such great misery, died, was buried and then rose again on the third day just as He said He would.  

Let all the people rejoice!  It doesn't matter whether we can meet together in church buildings this Sunday!  It only matters that we remember why we have Easter and that we worship Him.  The hymns can still be sung and He will be just as honored.  Spend time alone with Him.  Allow His love to cover and cleanse you.  Then come back and tell your loved ones what you experienced.   Be blessed.  

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