1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
As I have been out and about this week enjoying this wonderful weather, I have been reflecting on the resurrection of Jesus. You know it wasn’t that long ago that it was bitter cold and everything around us appeared to be dead. But with the onset of warmer weather nature is experiencing a rebirth. It is growing, and full of life, and the promise of summertime is here.
After they crucified Jesus they thought he was dead too, but He is not. Because of His resurrection, those that believe in Jesus have experienced a rebirth as well. The promise of eternal life in Heaven awaits us, and we should be filled with excitement knowing that our Master is preparing a place for those that believe in Him.
Resurrection Sunday is a celebration, not a funeral, because we celebrate a risen Christ! This special day should also cause us to re-examine our faith and to look back at the cross and refocus on what it means to us as believers. When we look at the Cross we are confronted with a few things, because at the cross we see a mirror that reflects back the harsh reality of who we really are.
At the Cross, we have to face our failures. For when we see the cross, it becomes very obvious, that no matter how hard we try, we can never acquire what Christ offers on our own.
At the cross we are forced to admit that our life is an absolute mess without the grace that we were freely given when Jesus died for us. There is a reason why people choose to ignore or discount the cross; because by acknowledging the cross we are also acknowledging our own failures.
At the cross we’re also confronted with futility. We can go through life living and acting in a good and moral way, but if we don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and accept the gift of forgiveness, then our efforts are nothing more than a futile attempt to replace what only the cross offers.
At the cross we’re also confronted with the finality of life. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Sin separates us from God. So God provided a way to overcome that separation by sending his son to die on the cross. Jesus Christ bridged the divide that our sin causes, and for those that accept the gift of Jesus we will have eternal life with Him. For those that refuse to accept him; they will spend eternal life in Hell. That is the finality that we see at the cross.
At the cross we also find hope that we can anchor to, and we find a love greater than any other love. When the world says, stop it’s not worth it, or just quit trying because life’s too hard, we need to anchor to the cross. When we are hanging on with our last bit of strength, remember the hope and the promise that we find through Jesus at the cross.
Finally, at the cross we find the love that God has for us. I would guess that all of us would say that we would die for our children, or our spouse, or somebody else important in our lives, but I would also say that none of us would freely send our innocent child to be tortured and suffer, to be sacrificed and die. And yet God’s love for us was so deep, and so true, that he freely sent his one and only son to die upon a cross for you and me.
As we celebrate Resurrection Sunday, go back to the cross and examine your life. Think about what was done for you, and thank Jesus for what He did. Then as you go about your business celebrate the fact that Jesus overcame death and that he will be returning to take home those that believe in Him. Share that news with everyone you see! Blessings to all of you and praise be to God for the Risen Christ!