Just like it always seems to, time once again marches forward and most of our celebration of Resurrection Sunday has likely now been neatly folded, put away on the shelf, the leftovers all finished and any other remnants of the day beginning to grow further and further distant in our rearview mirrors as we move “forward” with our daily lives.
But what if it wasn’t?
What if we could find and develop in ourselves the discipline to utilize the celebration of Easter this year as a type of catalyst for real change in our lives?
What if something we read, heard or witnessed could have greater impact upon us; shake us so viscerally to our core and become so ingrained and keep serving as a reminder to us that we just couldn’t help but have to deal with it?
That’s much the way it was in my teen years when I first came to grips with the chilling reality of the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 5:8;
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The first time that I really began to recognize and internalize the truth that my sin helped nail Jesus to the cross and held him there until it was accomplished; until it was finished; until my sin was paid for.
It also brings to mind for me a very moving rendition and video of the song, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us by Stuart Townsend.
It’s enough still, to bring tears to my eyes yet not always enough for me to overcome or defeat temptation.
Perhaps that is why Jesus told those who followed and wept for Him on His way to the cross,
28 “…do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and your children.” Luke 23:28
In his article published in desiringgod.org, Greg Morse so aptly interprets one of the key meanings of this verse as he writes, “Gentle daughters, useless are the tears that fall on my behalf because of suffering but never fall because of sin. Many weep over my suffering, but not the sin which caused it. The horror you see before you is my becoming sin for my people and bearing the wrath they deserve, that they should have my righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). If you weep, better to weep over the lust that hammers the nail deeper, the lie that sticks a thorn in the brow, the cowardly duck that makes a gash upon me, the prideful strut that keeps me upon Calvary’s path.”
This week in our North Coast Daily Dose, several teachers take on the prompt, “Because of the resurrection, I…” and they fill in their responses by sharing how the resurrection has changed their perspective and the ways they live. If you’ve not subscribed to the Daily Dose messages or, perhaps it has been a while since you’ve viewed/listened to one of them, please click on this link and take a look. (If you’d like to view more of this series or subscribe to these daily teachings, you may do so here.
As also shared in last week’s post, in “Ten Ways Easter Changes Everything,” Matthew Harmon observes, “It can seem like to claim that the resurrection changes everything is an example of hype, but as you read the Bible and you understand all that flows out of Jesus’ resurrection, it is no exaggeration to say that Jesus rising from the dead literally changes everything.”
I’ve just shared with you several perspectives toward cultivating the seed that the message of Easter planted in our hearts last weekend. But it’s ultimately up to you to surrender your hearts and minds to the prompting and leading of the Holy Spirit to answer the prompt in your life and answer the questions:
- What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean to you?
- What are you going to do with Jesus’ command that we love one another?
- What can I now do to bring Him the glory and honor that He deserves as my response for the gift of life I now get to live?
A great start toward answering these questions might be to make sure you participate in our upcoming Serve Your City campaign. Please do not consider this as any sort of “drive-by guilting,” but simply as an invitation. If you’re interested and have not already registered or would like more information, click on this link.
I pray that each of us continues to grow and be changed by Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection on our behalf.
Right here with you,