Thursday, Good Friday and Easter… not just History
Devotional Thought of the Day:
23 As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ, a message that is offensive to the Jews and nonsense to the Gentiles; 24 but for those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, this message is Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 (TEV)
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Romans 6:5-11 (NLT)
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT)
19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. Galatians 2:19-21 (NLT)
For the past thirty years, there has been a tendency to deal with Jesus, and especially the cross and the resurrection as a historical event. It is where they start, and Sunday there will be a lot of sermons that try to prove the resurrection.
But if that is all they do, if they engage people in “just the facts”, the message of Holy Week, the message of Christ’s death and resurrection will be overlooked. The heart of the message will be missed.
Re-read the passages above. There you hear that the Resurrection isn’t just about events 2000 years ago. They are events that are current, the proof is not just seen in the claims of Josephus or Eusebius, but in our very lives. We were there, or perhaps it is better to say we are there… our sins being laid on Christ, our lives being re-generated with His resurrection.
Because the death and resurrection, everything changes in our lives, the hope that we have for this life, and for the next is not some day dream possibility. It is the expectation based on the promises we have been given, the guaranty of that not being some historical proofs, but of something more – of a life filled with the Holy Spirit…
21 It is God himself who makes us, together with you, sure of our life in union with Christ; it is God himself who has set us apart, 22 who has placed his mark of ownership upon us, and who has given us the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the guarantee of all that he has in store for us. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (TEV)
The “all that He has in store for us” is not about wealth or fame or riches in this life, it is something far more. That we walk with Him now, that we are not just welcome in the presence of God, but that He desires us there, and draws us into His presence.
That just isn’t a historical event, it is something we live and breath. It is what establishes who we are, brings healing to who we were, and assures us of Christ’s presence in our lives.
Today on Holy Thursday,
Tomorrow as our hearts are found at the cross…
In times like Black Saturday, when we wonder if God is dead,
And on Sunday, as we realize we have risen with Him, just as He said!