Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day, 2104

Easter is another moment of our year, our lives, that offers us a beautiful occasion to once again consider the Life of Christ and everything that He did for us. The Day asks us to think about what it all means, to me, to you, to each and every believer on the face of the Earth. Contemplating the Life of Jesus is something that we should do on a regular basis, and not just on Easter Sunday. In Luke 22:19, Jesus asks us to remember Him, “And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Perhaps at this moment in time, we casually or passingly think of the Agony of the Garden that He suffered the night before he died. That’s when Jesus asked His disciples to spend some time in prayer with Him, while He talked with His Father, but they got tired and fell asleep, like a lot of us do. Jesus then asked them, “Could you not spend an hour with me?” Matthew 26:40. Well, they couldn’t and, usually, we don’t, either. Easter denotes an opening for me as a pastor to remind the congregation and certainly all those around me of the violent and severe price that Jesus paid in order for us to profit from the breathtaking relationship that we have in God because of His torture, death and resurrection. In my heart, mind and soul, lives a burning passion that forces me to want to live my life in a way that contemplates, emulates and shares the Good News about the Love of God that was in Christ, reconciling the world to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19, “That God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” Romans 11:15, “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Easter helps me value Christ’s guidance. Jesus was very much a leader of the people. He loved people profoundly, sincerely and intensely, Jesus got involved with every aspect of their lives. 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love.” He ate with them, drank with them, laughed with them and cried with them. He was compassionate. He provided for their needs, He healed the sick and cheered the lonely, lifted up the downtrodden and even revived the dead. He literally touched people with contagious leprosy and allowed a woman of the night to anoint his feet in public. He wasn’t anxious with what the people thought about Him, and as a pastor, or believer, like Jesus, we shouldn’t worry about this, either. His chief concern was doing what was commanded of Him by His Heavenly Father. He introduced Himself as He was and made no apologies for it. God loves us all, just as we are, without one plea. Jesus proved that, Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus wasn’t proud or haughty, He was just a man who knew who He was and stood by what He believed. So should we. Jesus wasn’t one to twiddle His thumbs, He was a worker. As early as twelve years old His panic-stricken parents who had been searching for Him, found Him in the temple listening to and questioning the educated teachers of His day. He asked the religious elders questions, He challenged the thought process of the spiritual leaders. Luke 2:49, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Fathers business?” Jesus always stands up for those who are defenseless. The death of Christ purchased us freedom from guilt and sin and hell. Now we are free to be salt and light in a sick and dying world. His birth, life, death and resurrection should mean everything to everyone on this planet, every day of the year. It is also living proof that He will return and that I will have to give Him an account for how I have lived out His Gift of Love to me. Our impacting the world for Jesus is not an option; it’s the ultimate burden and calling for each and every pastor and true believer in Jesus. Happy Resurrection Day, to one and all!

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