"God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21 (BSB)
Well, I know plenty of people who celebrate their half birthday!
I was sitting here thinking about Resurrection Sunday, trying to figure out how to justify talking about it in October, when suddenly it occurred to me... maybe it's six months from Easter.
And, guess what? Today is 6 months, to the day, from Easter Sunday 2020.
God is so good.
Not that we ever need an excuse to talk about Yeshua rising from the grave, but don't you just love it when He shows up in the little details and whispers? Mmm... I needed that. ♥ At any rate...
HE IS RISEN INDEED!
What a beautiful way to begin.
There are more things to talk about regarding Resurrection Sunday than could ever be approached in one sermon, one devotional, or one mere blog post. That would be a doozy of a message.
The thing that keeps coming to mind for me is how very expansive is the love of our God. He is infinite, He is just, and He is GOOD. And, He loved us SO VERY MUCH that He chose to walk among us as a man so that He would know our pain, our sorrow, and our temptation, so that when we looked to Him for wisdom we would know that having been human, He understood.
I have two thoughts I'd like to share, neither of which is original, but both seem like just the thing to pass along.
I grew up going to youth group with a young man who later became a pastor. I once heard him say something I think I've always known, but when he did it the way he did, it had that undeniable ring of Truth that it shakes you a bit.
#1. He is the answer to your prayers.
So often when we go to God with our prayers we ask for the little things (that may not be so little,) God help me in my career, God please help my child be healthy, God help us keep the lights on... and on and on it goes. I don't think God minds those prayers, I think He loves to have us come to Him, always, about everything.
And, on the flipside, though I don't remember exactly where it was or how he said it, C.S. Lewis once suggested that God must think our prayers pitifully small.
I'm certain I cannot tell you what your prayers should be or should look like, that's between you and God. But, if I may be so bold, I think I know the answer to your prayers.
Whatever the prayer, He himself is the answer. He is not a genie in a bottle for us to ask for the things of this world, and poof, they appear... I mean, yes, sometimes that happens because God is so good and such a sweet Father. But, HE is the answer to every prayer, if we have Him, the rest of it all seems to work itself out.
#2. He bought your coffee...
Allow me to explain. This is the other completely unoriginal thought. I was at a really beautiful Sonrise service one fine Easter morning and I heard the pastor tell of a time when he went through the Starbucks drive-through only to find when he came to pay that the car in front of him had taken care of it. When he said, "that hardly seems fair," the barista replied... "I don't care who pays as long as the books balance."
Think about the beautiful simplicity of that. And, if you're anything like me the contrasting grateful sense of injustice that comes with it.
It's utterly unfair that Yeshua, Jesus, our Lord and Savior took every one of my sins large and small to the cross, every one of yours, every one of hundreds of millions of human lives stretched out through eternity, every sin ever committed He carried to the cross and paid the eternal price.
Circling back around to that just God we serve... He does demand justice, that has not changed throughout time, but in coming to walk among us even knowing how horrible it would be to pay the price, that He would sweat blood in anticipation of the moment, that He would suffer every betrayal, every lash, every nail, and an absolutely horrific death, He still chose to balance the books for us, if only we choose to receive the gift.
As I was leaving the service I thought, "hmm, I wonder if there's a Mexican restaurant open, I'm kind of hungry for breakfast and that sounds good." I passed one on the highway in a construction zone and it would be a while before I could turn around, but that neon "OPEN" sign kept beckoning me back.
As you know, I pray about everything (even if my prayers may seem "pitifully small" to our Father,) so I kept praying, "God, what do you think, should I go back?" I'm working on the Mother Teresa thing... to not only be obedient but to do it right away. So, I took the next turn around and went back.
Having ordered something tweaked to vegan, I sat and people-watched and waited. I noticed an older couple I recognized from the morning service get up and walk toward the register. The waitress met them halfway across the room and said, "You're all taken care of." When he asked what she was talking about, who had done it, she shrugged her slender shoulders and said, "Your check has been paid."
As he walked out, I touched him on the arm and we shared a knowing smile.
My friend, in all things, He is the answer to your prayer, and if you are willing to receive the gift, your debt has been paid.
Happy Half-Resurrection Sunday! May you and yours be blessed, now and always.
Thank You for helping us to live in and walk out Your Resurrection Power while in the world.
Thank You for helping us to know the You have balanced the books, You have paid our debt, and to live accordingly.
Thank You for Your miraculous presence and for showing up in our lives moment by moment.
We love You. We need You. We are grateful for You.
All this I pray, in Your Holy Names.
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." ~ Isaiah 53:5 (KJV)
"He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works." ~ Titus 2:14 (HCSB)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." ~ John 3:16 (NKJV)
"Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (BSB)
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise...