Easter Thought – 2018

We come to the season, again, of celebrating Christ’s resurrection. When I approach this holiday (my favorite by far) in my prayer time with the Lord, I constantly find myself at a loss for words. What can I say? The only thing I have to say is “thank You” to go or His working. The Lord Jesus, the Messiah of the whole world, came here to do what we – humankind – could not. He reached down from heaven in order that we could have a relationship with Him.

I heard a quote a couple years ago and wrote it down so I would never forget it. The quote is:

“Religion is man trying to reach up to God;
The Gospel is God reaching down to man.”

—Unknown

Humankind has been making religions (even the Christian religion) as monuments trying to stand on them to reach God since the time of Babel. It continues today, is a steeple not simply a tower to reach God?

Christianity wasn’t meant to be this. Jesus’ teachings are scarce on the subject of the Church and corporate worship of Him, focusing rather on the day to day lives his followers. We do have the “Upper Room Discourse” in John 13–17. This preaching is familial, relational, and about love. Love for one another (fellow believers) as He (Christ) loves us (the Church/Believers) is laid out as a new commandment. We are to love one another and through this we show our love for the Lord!

Paul’s clear mission for the Church was unity and love as well. (Paul refers to this in Colossians 2:1–2 by hoping our hearts might be knit together in one heart through love.) This is the theme repeated time and time again through the Bible – let alone the New Testament. This is the call: Not to a religious experience, but to a relationship. Let us dwell on our relationship as we go through our day. Jesus’ resurrection provides for this relationship. This is the whole point.

Praise the Lord!

I hope you all have a happy Easter.

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Easter Thought – 2017

Well, here, we are in 2017 and standing again before the Lord in worship of His sacrifice for us on the cross. As far as holidays go, Easter really is my favorite. I’m brought to my knees, with tears in my eyes, as I think about how worthless my righteousness is, and yet God thought a relationship with me worth it enough to pay the price to have that relationship. Relationships have been the big-ticket item in my thoughts and Bible stud recently. I recently posted a thought here, and gave a short word on it at the Willamette Bible Chapel, where I spoke on Colossians 1:24–27.

Relationships are important! They are really in a lot of ways, the most important thing. We see this even in the law as the Pharisees ask the Lord Jesus what the greatest commandment was. His responses to this question are both completely relational (Matthew 22:34–40; Mark 12:28–34; Luke 10:25–28). Furthermore, the verse which is singular best known verse in the Bible: John 3:16 gives us a relational statement about why Jesus came to the Earth. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world!

Christianity, for some reason has almost become more like an achievement or badge to wear rather than what it’s supposed to be. Christianity should be more like the relationship status we post on Facebook:

“RB is in a relationship with the Eternal Creator of All — God”

This is what Christianity should be. This is what Easter celebrates. We are celebrating God bridging the gap for us so we can have a relationship with Him. If God hadn’t done this we would only be able to view God as one mighty lawgiver. Instead, however, we get to enjoy the benefits of a personal relationship with the most powerful Being which exist. A Being whose very word says He is love (1 John 4:8).

This is what I am remembering this Easter.

Hope you all have a happy Easter.

Easter Thought – 2016

Every year as we approach Easter I feel a sense of awe filling my heart. For so many Christmas is the “Holiday Season” or the “Season of Joy” but for me (someone who did not grow up celebrating Christmas) Easter was always more special than Christmas. Yes I know of the pagan origins of Easter and how it was moved to coincide with the resurrection, but I also know my Lord was resurrected and tradition tells me it was on this day.

We get so caught up in traditions, though, we forget this simple fact. We forget to celebrate the greatness of the day. Sure many of us go to an Easter service and listen to a sermon about the importance of His resurrection, but do we really take a step back and look at it? Do we really celebrate the wondrous meaning of Jesus’ resurrection? Jesus died for our sin, once and for all. He died for all sin yesterday, today and tomorrow. All the sin of the all the world is blotted it out by Jesus’ blood. That is an amazing and gracious thing He did for us. Now, though, Jesus rose from the dead to go to the Father so we may also go to the Father and live eternally with Him.

Drink this in for a moment.

Jesus not only gave His life for us; He rose so we may have life! Every time I start to think of the events of this time I’m speechless. The scourging, beating, and then being hung on the cross – the worst way to be killed in history – all of this and why? So He could cover our sins with His blood and then rise again to take us home to be with Him forever. Who can say they love you more than this? Who would totally give their lives in the most painful way possible in order to secure your eternal destiny?

When you really look at the end of Jesus earthly life how can you not cry for joy or feel the complete love God feels for you? God came here to earth in the form of Jesus not just to teach us a new law or make a new covenant with us, but to give Himself in our place!

Focus on this during Easter this year, not the traditions or other things we, as humans, have added into celebrating the Lord’s resurrection, but truly celebrating His resurrection.

Happy Easter Everyone!