Sunday, April 5, 2015

Why Does It Matter?

Certainly, there was no need for the stone to be rolled away.  Like Jonah who was spewed from the mouth of a large fish, so the ground could not hold Jesus back.  The stone was removed, not to let Jesus out, but to let people in!  Jesus wanted us to look inside. 

He offers an invitation.  Come and see!  "He is risen, just as He said!"  (Matt. 28:6)

So often we explore the evidence, and it is, indeed, overwhelmingly outstanding!  But there is so much more to Jesus' resurrection than proof, for His risen life makes all the difference in ours.  Not only do those who place their faith in Christ receive a heavenly home, but we receive power for living . . . today, and for the rest of our lives.  We do not have to live in sin and defeat.

In the natural world, gravity is always present, pulling us down, yet, with a power greater than gravity, such as a jet, we can defy it.  Likewise, as long as I dwell on this earth, my natural inclination is to live selfish and proud.  However, Jesus' resurrection life fuels me with power to live differently.  Because He overcame, I too, can overcome. 

Those of you who've read this blog for some time may be wondering, then, why all these struggles of which I speak?  If Christianity is such a journey into trials, why choose it?  And I would reply, "Why fly an airplane or climb a mountain?  Why watch a bird soar or send a kite on the wind?"  We were made for fellowship with God, and are most happy when we live in obedience to Him.   Yes, it is a struggle to fight against the gravity of sin, but nothing can compare to the presence of God in the midst of the fight.  God is never closer than when we are surrendered to Him.  And without Him, we are dead in our sins. 

Though the difficulties cause pain, yet, I would not have it different, for God has shown Himself to be my provider, my shepherd, my comfort, my refuge, my advocate, my strength, my peace, my joy, and so much more.  It is through these trials that He shows Himself strong on my behalf, because His Spirit dwells in me.  When the hurricane forces come, I know that my roots are established in His love, for nothing can separate me from the love of God.  (Rom. 8:38-39)

This love never fails because it depends on God, not me.  It is a continual flow of grace, which is made possible through the blood of Jesus, always ready to forgive and make new.

Because Jesus rose from the dead, I live.  This is not a mere existence, striving to get through the day, but a daily empowering by His Spirit.  I can be confident that wherever He takes me, I can thrive in His presence and know His joy.

Furthermore, I know that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18)  My time on this earth is only a tiny dot compared to the line of my eternal home which goes on forever.  Though I cannot always see, I believe in God's control and trust Him to carry me through, no matter the trial, for He is faithful. 

This is one reason we proclaim with such enthusiasm, "He is risen!  He is risen indeed!"

Come and see for yourself.  If you will believe, this Easter will be like none other, for the very life of Christ will set you free from the power of sin and death.  Now, that's something worth singing about! 

"and on this rock, I will build my church, 
and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."
(Matt. 16:18) 

"in all these things we are more than conquerors 
through him who loved us."  (Rom. 8:37)

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