Easter reminds true Christians of how much Jesus loved us; yes, even through every scornful word and undeserved beating that He received on the way to, and eventually on Golgotha. His sacrifice brings us to our knees in praise and thanksgiving, and we are simply overwhelmed at what the Father has done through His Son, for us, and we are awestruck by the incredible love that the Son has for us. These three days (Easter) are marked by sweet fellowship and the joy of salvation and are unparalleled by any other time of the year.
On Easter Monday, as our daily routines and weekly to-do lists creep back into our minds, do the impact and eternal significance of the cross begin to fade from view? Could it be that we only seek the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice and the resulting blessings, forgetting that we too have a cross to bear? Statements such as, “Let go and let God” or the concept of “easy grace” might tempt us to unfasten the belt of truth, lower the shield of faith, and put down the sword of the Spirit until all that we have left is the helmet of salvation. Do we mistakenly (or intentionally, even) “rebuke Satan” or “plead the blood of Christ” in an effort to live victorious lives, forgetting that joyous and triumphant living is attained through holy living and the knowledge that we belong to Christ? Or do we devote each day to God, powered by the Spirit, to conform our thoughts, wills, and affections to be like the mind of Christ? Do we battle daily to tame our tongues, kill our flesh, knock down our idols, and sever our conformity to the world? Are we willing to drive stakes into our prideful selves, cognizant that our identity is in Christ Jesus?
Let me be clear: Our good deeds do not earn or keep our salvation. Only faith in the redeeming blood of Christ, spilled on the cross, attains salvation – and faith in Him alone! Nor am I attempting to place a burden on anyone – Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Paul tells us to work out our salvation, as we obey God in the process of being like Christ Jesus, knowing that ultimately the work is His to do (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 13:20-21). While we will never be completely sinless or completely holy on this side of eternity, we can seek to love and glorify Him every day in our obedience to His Word, His commands.
Our joy is found in following Jesus, and a successful walk with God is to live lives that are consistent with what God has done in us and for us. Paul committed to know nothing but Christ crucified – how glorious would it be to live that way? Indeed!
A joyous, introspective, and blessed Saturday and Resurrection Sunday to you and your loved ones. All praise and glory to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
Hallowed be His name,