There have been horrific events during the past week – but today is still a gift from God. Something unexpected and tragic may occur in the next few hours – but today is still a gift from God. What the future holds is truly a mystery – but today is still a gift from God. That’s because God’s gift of being with you in life is more powerful than all the acts of terrorism, natural disasters, accidents and personal pain put together. And this means you can smile, laugh, hope and serve today without any ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ or ‘buts’!
Lord of All Life,
Today we join billions of people around the world in proclaiming, “He is risen – He is risen indeed!” Sure, they are words so easy to utter. But we say them because we choose to believe that they point to a reality so powerful it literally has changed everything about everything in life.
Fill us to overflowing with this resurrection reality that flows from Your love, is more powerful than the worst life has to offer and defeats death itself. Not just today in full churches, with joyful people and beautiful music. But every day in every possible way, as Your new life, Your healing and Your hope transforms us, others and the world from the inside-out.
Yes, today we boldly proclaim, “He is risen – He is risen indeed!” And we do it in the name, hope and power of the Resurrected One, Jesus the Christ.
The horror of Friday is over for the disciples. And now it’s Saturday. As the day dawns, the disciples believe Friday is the last word. But what they do not comprehend – even though Jesus has told them – is that Sunday’s coming! You often are like those disciples on Saturday. You have given yourself to Jesus, but struggle to believe his resurrection means that all those things in life that seem to be the end are not. So remember this as you struggle with all the Saturday’s of your life – Sunday’s coming!
Jesus experienced the loneliness of rejection and betrayal by those he came to serve. Suffered when he was tortured, mocked, and nailed upon a cross. And died as difficult a death as a human being can suffer. Yet something took place on that cross that could not occur any other way. Jesus stretched out his arms to embrace the world – including you – in unconditional love. Jesus unleashed sacrificial love that saved humanity – including you – from sin, suffering and hopelessness. And Jesus offered everyone – including you – the gift of transforming love that changes everything about everything forever. Indeed, the cross seems like an unlikely way for God to save the world. Yet that is exactly what God did.
Just hours before his arrest, the Savior of the world washed his disciples’ feet – including the one who would betray him. When he finished he said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” In other words, Jesus is proclaiming that it’s time to get serious about becoming a servant. Sure, his words are a challenge. A huge challenge. But he’s serious. And that means it’s time for you to find someone who needs help, roll up your sleeves and love like Jesus tells you.
By Wednesday of Holy Week, Jesus knew he was facing betrayal, pain, humiliation, torture and death. He also knew he had to keep pressing forward to the cross in order to be faithful. Sadly, too many Jesus followers today think the main reason to be a Christian is beauty, wealth, popularity and success. But it’s not. It’s faithfulness. How ready are you to make difficult choices that may be unpopular in order to be faithful? This isn’t merely a hypothetical question to ponder during Holy Week. It’s a question to answer every single day.