Because He Lives
Two women are headed to the garden where Jesus is buried. It’s a sorrowful journey. Not even the fragrant spices they carry can lift their spirits. Only those who have made that journey to say a final “Goodbye” can understand.
They must have walked cautiously, because the Bible states that it was still dark. The darkness itself was symbolic of the incredible grief they had experienced watching the Master die.
We all have those times when we stumble in the darkness, not knowing what the next step will bring. When sickness strikes. When a marriage begins to crumble. When disaster takes a loved one. We try to move forward, but it is still dark.
These are the times we need to revisit the empty tomb. To remember that God is bigger than any situation we will ever face. To realize that the darkness is only temporary. A new day will come.
As the women moved toward the tomb in the predawn shadows, they didn’t know they were on their way to a miracle. They didn’t know how quickly their sorrow would turn to unspeakable joy. Neither do we.
Today could be the day of new light, new hope, new joy—because He lives!
This week, I will find a way to encourage someone who is going through a dark time.
A Willing Sacrifice
Part of the fear of death is not knowing when it will come. No one comes into this world with an expiration date. That moment can come suddenly, or at the end of a long, productive life.
We could exit at many different off ramps. Illness. Accident. War. Murder. Or suicide. No one wants to contemplate that moment.
Yet Jesus knew. He alluded to His death when He invited listeners to “take up your cross and follow me.” He spoke of the temple being destroyed and “in three days” being raised up again. His teaching was peppered with references to the things the Son of Man would suffer.
But no one paid attention. They focused on the miracles, the teachings and the authority by which He spoke. So when His hour of trial and death arrived, they didn’t know how to handle it. The disciples scattered. Peter lied and denied. The crowd that followed Him so ardently turned against Him and called for His execution. Few walked with Him to Golgotha.
The thought of death is sobering. We don’t view it as our mission in life. But Jesus did. He knew death was coming, with all of its horrors, and He knew what it would mean to the world. He faced it with courage, grace and determination. A willing sacrifice. The ultimate gift of love.
I will find one thing I can do for someone this week that costs me something (time, money, emotional energy, etc).
Obedience is Better
How many teens have expressed the wish to be “on their own?” Have their own apartment. Choose their own friends. Pick their own activities. And abolish the curfew. Family rules can seem constricting when so many adventures beckon. But with freedom comes responsibility — and consequences for choices. All is not as it seems in the adult world. Parental rules may be a good thing after all.
Only once did Jesus’ actions bring him into conflict with Mary and Joseph’s oversight. That time in the temple when he was 12, staying behind to discuss theology with the elders. After a three-day search, his parents found Him. They expressed their frustration, and He, His. And that was it. “Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.” (Luke 2:51 NLT)
Throughout His life, Jesus walked in obedience to His heavenly Father. From His baptism to the cross, He lived to do His Father’s will. His obedience brought salvation and hope to the world. Now He calls us to the same life of obedience to God and to His Word.
Walking in step with God frees us from the ill effects of sin and enables us to be a blessing to others. We discover that our heavenly Father really does know best and obedience to His will IS the better choice.
I will obey God this week in that one area where I have resisted His will.