I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend celebrating and spending time with loved ones! We sure did.
As I reflect back on Easter and the enormity of what Jesus did for us, I felt like I needed to expand and offer up some Resurrection mentality and application for our day-to-day lives. The holiday itself may be over, but the story of Easter is not over! What happened 2000 years ago is a huge concept to grasp—it took me 26 years to grasp it fully.
So, what exactly is the promise of the cross and empty tomb doing today? Yes, our salvation has been secured, but what is the work on the cross doing here in between salvation and eternal life— between the “already” and the “not yet?” I’m a girl that needs some tangibility and real life application, and something tells me I’m not alone in that, so the task of the day is to answer those questions!
Jesus not only came to give us eternal life, but also to restore and redeem all things that sin has broken here on earth. He didn't just die for your "future" (aka heaven). No, He doesn’t just leave us at salvation—He is still dynamically, mightily, lovingly and passionately at work for you and for me! He died to fix, heal, save, repair, revive, comfort, remedy and protect your “here and now.” Your soul may be saved, but He never stops pursuing His "beloved" (us!). Our Lord does not have "buyer’s remorse" (aka regrets) over going to the cross for us—He knew what needed to be done in order to close the gap between death and eternal life--to redeem our hearts both now and forevermore. Even when we are blatantly disobedient, intolerable, prideful and flat out unlovable, God is still loving.
Our Savior comes back for us day in and day out through our circumstances, relationships, and hardships. He comes back to pursue our broken hearts, to make us whole and secure, and to ensure we understand the depths of His love for us! He came for the broken hearted, the wounded, the hurting, the lost, for you and for me. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and conquering over sin and death actually provides us with TWO things – abundant life NOW and glorious eternal life to come! We can have great hope amidst a broken and fallen world.
Tim Keller “God sees us as we are, loves us as we are and accepts us as we are, but by His grace, He doesn’t leave us as we are!”
Isaiah 53:5-6 “But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be WHOLE. He was whipped so we could be HEALED. All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. We have left God’ paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all.”
John 14:25-27 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
I think it’s safe to say some, if not all, of us walk around able to muscle through life based on our own accord, depending on our natural abilities, gifts and personalities. If I’m honest, I was in this boat for a majority of my life—not really needing the Lord for anything. I didn't bring Him my hurting heart. I was actively living out my deep pain and I came to the end of my own might and strength and received the anomalous gift of desperation. I was desperate for something greater than what I could offer myself. I desperately needed healing, rescue, reviving, fixing and freedom. Thankfully, this desperation would lead me to the foot of the cross with arms wide open in surrender. You don’t know how much you need Jesus until Jesus is all you have. Being vulnerable and transparent before God is when mighty and powerful things begin to happen.
He didn’t come for perfect people. He came for broken situations just like mine. He came to make it right, to fix me in the here and now, to transform me, to help me, to give me hope, to refine me, to heal me! He came for people like me who desperately needed a Savior, Helper and Healer! This is WHY He came to save us! Not just to give us salvation, but to be actively and fervently at work in us while we are here on earth. To give us “life abundant” NOW (John 10:10)!
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “For His power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Isaiah 61:1-4 "He was sent to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. He will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; He will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
Psalm 103:11, 16-17 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His LOVE for those who fear Him! As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. From everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s LOVE is with those who fear Him.”
Last week I talked about how Jesus came to save the lost, but today I wanted to narrow in on the latter half of Matthew 18:11-14:
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.”
Are you not encouraged by this?! My heart rejoices—I was lost but now I’m found (John 9:25)! Our God has taken the blinders off my hurting heart— not only to the grievances of my sin, but more so to the power and weight of what God has done for me! What grace! "Grace that allows you to face your sin, to own it and not shift blame. Grace that forces you to feel the pain of your regrets, but never asks you to pay for them, because the price has already been paid by Jesus." (Paul David Tripp) Grace that took my derailed life and put it back on the tracks. Our God is faithful to heal us through His love and to gently show us where we’ve gone astray and bring us back to a place of humility before Him. His grace abounds in the deepest waters and in the toughest of all situations. If reflecting back on Easter tells me anything, it's that God holds life in His hands. The God that raised Jesus front the dead, is the same God who can revive and breathe life into any person, situation, marriage, circumstance, or relationship here on earth! This is a current, active and risen God we serve! I pray you trust Him with your whole heart, too!
Romans 8:37-39 “ In ALL things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 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.”
Until you experience true brokenness, I don't think you can grasp just how unfailing, sacrificial and endless Jesus’ love is for you! And just what His work on the cross actually accomplished. In God’s economy, brokenness always turns into abundant wholeness!
Ephesians 3:20 “He is able to do immeasurably more than you could ask, think or imagine!”
Psalm 130:7 “Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.”
Even though Easter is officially over, let’s constantly celebrate the only One who satisfies, saves, revives and heals our souls! Through His redemptive and unparalleled love for us, we are free and forgiven!
Hope you guys have a great week!