Tag : resurrection
Tag : resurrection
At one time in my life, Easter was only about the Easter Bunny and egg hunts. I remember a family 8 mm film where, as a toddler, I took one of those beautifully died eggs and smashed it on the sidewalk. Always curious, I guess I wanted to see what would happen to that egg at high impact!
I still like the colorful eggs, and the fun of the Easter bunny. In fact I passed by him on the street Thursday—he had a police escort—so I snapped a photo to share.
But Easter is so much richer now that I know the risen Christ, and as I reflect on why Easter is meaningful to me, three things come to mind.
Access- When Jesus breathed his last breath, the curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom. That represented a type of access to our Holy God that was unfathomable. At one time it was only consecrated Jewish priests who could enter the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle where God resided. I just read that priests had to yearly go through thirty-five steps on the Day of Atonement to make sacrifices for the sins of the people. One wrong move and they could die. Now, because of Jesus’s sacrifice, every believer is a priest and is covered by the blood of Jesus so that we can enter the presence of God 24/7. Because of our High Priest, Jesus, we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV). This access shouldn’t be taken for granted. I never had a father in my life, so being able to sit in the presence of our heavenly Father has been a precious gift and has sustained me all of these years.
Forgiveness of Sins- I am not proud of my inappropriate behavior in college and those single years following college. I wish I could undo a lot of it, but because of Easter, I repented, and I know Jesus has washed me clean from those wrongdoings (even though the enemy of my soul tries to bring it up every so often). 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV). The word for cleanse here also means to “purify.” So when we believe, the kind of true belief that results in change, then Jesus bleaches out the stains of our sins—he purifies us—and enables us to overcome temptation and gives us the power to turn from our past way of life.
The Hope of Eternity- As I am living in what is probably the final quarter of my life, I am holding onto this hope that when I pass, I will transition into Heaven and into the arms of Jesus. This could only happen because of Easter. Hebrews 6:19-20 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf” (NIV). Jesus made it possible for us to live on in His presence. The apostle James called our lives a “mist that appears for a while then vanishes” (James 4:14). Psalm 39 tells us we should number our days. But if we believe in what Jesus did for us on Easter, we know this is not the end. I call this life a “holy boot camp” to get us ready for eternity.
So these are just a few of the reasons why I am grateful for Easter. I hope you all have a beautiful celebration of our Savior’s resurrection and take this time to reflect on what Easter means to you.
We have a couple of potted plants in our backyard that I thought were dead due to the heat, but with a little extra water they have miraculously turned from brown to green. The dead came back to life! In the same way, I am consistently amazed at how God can bring what was once dead in us back to life as well.
In Ezekiel 27, the LORD whisks the prophet Ezekiel away to a valley filled with dry bones where He instructed Ezekiel to speak a prophetic message to the bones so they’d become animate again. The Word says, “The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons” (Ezekiel 27:7 NLT). Muscles and flesh also formed over the bones and skin covered the bodies but they still had no breath in them. So Ezekiel was told to speak another prophetic message to the winds: “O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again” (Ezekiel 27:9). And they did come back to life—the dead bones stood up on their feet, appearing as a great army.
According to this passage, the bones represented the people of Israel and provided them with a message of hope even though God’s chosen ones had been exiled to Babylon and felt like they had become old, dry bones with no hope. God was saying they would enjoy life again and return home to their land.
It is a word for us as well.
I am wondering, what dry bones have come alive in your life recently?
Conversely, is there an area of your life that feels dead, without hope?
Your Creator specializes in bringing the dead to life.
In my own world, he has resurrected a television career that I thought was six feet under. I didn’t have a desire to return to the small screen nor did I ever dream I’d have the opportunity, but God had other plans and dry bones came to life.
After finishing seminary, I said I’d never return to school, but the LORD put skin on those bones, and yesterday, as I was able to actually read Hebrew words, I became emotional. It’s been a dream of mine to learn Hebrew and God has not only provided the opportunity, He has breathed new life into my learning.
And Hebrew roots that I thought were dried up because my Jewish father died before I was born, are sprouting leaves like never before. It has resulted not only in a pursuit of a Doctor of Ministry degree in Messianic Studies, but also a new book designed to reach Jewish people, The Root that Never Died, now available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Root-That-Never-Died-Christian/dp/B08FP6F77P/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-drs1_0?cv_ct_cx=The+Root+that+Never+Died&dchild=1&keywords=The+Root+that+Never+Died&pd_rd_i=B08FP6F77P&pd_rd_r=4d0a6800-0fd4-4274-bc9e-d606a516268f&pd_rd_w=izTaE&pd_rd_wg=tiLZZ&pf_rd_p=f3f1f1cd-8368-48df-ac69-94019fb84e3f&pf_rd_r=NHXGZMBZGZ8RA102SJ51&psc=1&qid=1598958383&sr=1-1-f7123c3d-6c2e-4dbe-9d7a-6185fb77bc58
It has been an incredible adventure that only my heavenly Father could cultivate.
What I’ve learned over the years is that we are to never give up on anyone or anything.
If your marriage is failing, keep praying.
If there’s a bad habit you struggle to break, don’t stop asking for ways to overcome.
If your health is declining, call on Jehovah Rapha for a miracle.
God doesn’t want us to settle for dry bones. He is a life giver and still has the ability to raise the dead, just as He did with his Son. We have to have faith that He can do it in our lives as well.