RESURRECTION SUNDAY: CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
Sunday, April 1 2018
Good morning to you, dear friends! Today is a glorious day - today is Resurrection Sunday! So, let’s greet each other with the words the traditional church has used for centuries on this day of all days: “CHRIST IS RISEN!” – and the answer: “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
I have prayed and I trust that these last 40 days of Lenten reflections have helped us to prepare our hearts to truly celebrate the most important and meaningful event in the history of humanity. Hopefully we have been touched, inspired and challenged with the studies on our heart being fertile ground for the Word of God, on the eternal and unbreakable love that God has for us, on the amazing Father and His two lost and needy sons, on seeing our lives as stained-glass windows, on the meaning of Passover both for the Jews of the Old Testament and the Christians of the New Testament, on the gifts that Jesus left us around His cross …
When I began to write our Lenten reflections, the only thing I knew was that we had to end with a cross on the hill of Calvary and with an empty tomb three days later. But I had no idea how we were going to get there – I didn’t know by what paths we would walk to find ourselves at the outskirts of Jerusalem at the end of the journey, contemplating the death of Jesus on the cross for our sin, and then celebrating His resurrection and His victory that give us abundant and eternal life. But God Himself traced out the path, God Himself walked with us from the beginning to the end – He has been faithful to show and speak to us what He wanted to reveal, what He desired for us to see and understand, about Him and about ourselves.
The road of this Lenten season definitely does not end here. God’s revelations during this time are not only for the 40 days before today, Resurrection Sunday – they are so that we can remember them and live by them the rest of our lives.
How can we fail to appreciate the desert seasons of our lives if they draw us closer to the love of God!?
How can we not leave fear and doubt behind us and ground ourselves in the truth that God loves us deeply, unconditionally, from eternity past to eternity future!?
How can we fail to see our lives as stained-glass windows through which the majesty of our beloved Christ ought to shine!?
How can we not be amazed by everything Passover symbolizes and means for us!?
How can we not bow down in gratitude and adoration at the foot of the cross when we see and understand all the gifts that He left there for us!?
Dear friends, hopefully – I pray and I trust – that your hearts have been touched, changed and encouraged in these days, just as mine has:
I will never look at a DAISY the same way again, because I will always remember that it doesn’t matter which petal I pluck off the flower last, it will always be a “God-loves-me” petal! And a daisy will always remind me that I must not and I do not want to live less loved than I really am.
I will never read the PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON the same way again, because I will always remember an amazing father who had two sons, equally lost and needing His love. Sometimes I’m one of the sons, sometimes I’m the other, but my Heavenly Father will always be there to receive me with forgiveness and grace.
I will never think the same way about the LOVE OF GOD for me again: nothing can separate me from His “ahabah” love, His elective love, and His “chesed” love, His covenant love for me. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)
I will never admire a STAINED-GLASS WINDOW the same way again: although they are magnificent, I will always think of my own life as well, and ask myself if Jesus, the Light of the world, can be seen clearly and faithfully through me.
I will never see the feast of PASSOVER the same way again: the lamb, the blood, the meat and the unleavened bread – I will always remember that all these things point to Jesus, the Lamb of God slain to redeem and save us, the Lamb that is sufficient for all the world.
I will never arrive the same way at the HILL OF CALVARY, and I will never again ignore all the GIFTS Jesus left there for me – from here on out, the crown, the nails, the sign, the tunic, and the linen grave clothes will have an incalculable value for my life.
Today, once again as God’s people have done for over 2000 years, we are commemorating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. And what is the extraordinary promise that God has for those of us that believe in Him and love Him? We will also be resurrected and have eternal life with Him!
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
“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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
I leave you now, dear friends: with my love and my gratitude for your valuable company throughout this season of Lent, and today this most glorious of days – and hoping you will continue to accompany me at www.reflectionsforliving.com in the coming days.
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- The Man Billy Graham - II
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- A Sacred Refuge Is Your Name
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- In The Fullness of Time