Is Easter Wasted? Was His Death and Resurrection Meaningless?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. 9 But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10 (TEV)
3 I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; 4 that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (TEV)
142 Domine!—“Lord!” Si vis, potes me mundare.—“If you will, you can make me clean.” What a beautiful prayer for you to say often, with the faith of the poor leper, when there happens to you what God and you and I know may happen. You won’t have to wait long to hear the Master’s reply: Volo, mundare!—“I will! Be made clean!” (1)
Yesterday, after seeing all the “He is Risen” memes and comments in my e-mail and on FB and Twitter, I tweeted a question:
“I keep reading; He is risen! But few share the reason that is good news. Because Jesus rose, we will share in not only His death but rise 2.”
You see, if the death, burial and resurrection has no specific meaning to you; for you it is wasted. For you it simply becomes a historical matter, something to discuss and create papers and blogs and podcasts debating. But all of that effort is a waste of time, if there is nothing that is gained (or lost ) at that moment when Jesus dies, and rises from the dead.
“He is risen! Alleluia!” We cry this, yet there must be more to that praise.
Look again at the reason Christ dies, he dies for our sin!
Those amazing words come flying out at us. He dies to take on our sin, to be beaten for our iniquities Isaiah tells us.
Don’t bother denying it, God already had John take care of that issue. If you didn’t sin, you are calling God a liar. Even worse, by saying it, you’ve sin against God again! Everyone has sinned, Pope Francis, Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther, St. Peter, St Paul, Abraham, Issac, Israel, you and I.
Yesterday I had a great conversation after church, about the tension between logic and faith. One of the things discussed was the reliability of faith in God. The problem is that neither logic nor faith are things able to be proven; they are things to be used. I gave the following illustration, getting to people to discuss why the glass is either half full or half empty. While they were discussing this, I took the glass and drained its contents. “You see,” I said, “you can talk all you want about the glass, but its purpose is to provide a way to drink the liquid we desire.” (Well it was only water, and I desired something different, but you get the picture)
So it is with faith (and logic) They are things we exercise, the foundational blocks by which we view and live in the world. They need to grow in focus; They need to be challenged and refined. But if faith isn’t used, if logic isn’t applied, it becomes useless, a distraction.
The same thing with the death for our sins, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is a nice hobby to have to create philosophical, apologetic and theological treatises about, but that is not why Christ died,
He died so that your sin and mine, would be erased! That like the man with leprosy, we would be sure of God’s desire to cleanse us, and the fact He has. To do so took the blood of Christ Jesus, but it did the job perfectly. With Christ’s resurrection, that sin we would deny, no longer needs to be denied, hidden, repressed. We don’t have to call God a liar, or be separated from Him. He is here…with us, comforting us of our brokenness.
That is something to praise Him for, to shout of His glory and mercy to all the world.
or as we say at my parish,
Pastor; Alleluia! He is Risen!
People: He is Risen indeed1
Pastor: What does this mean?t?
People: We too are Risen! Alleluia!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 463-466). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.