This Changes Everything
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
Well, we have officially sold our house, my hubby is off his crutches and into his regular shoes/boots (accompanied by a stiff limp-but, hey, progress!), we have moved (partially) as we are in a rental until the end of July when we can finally close on our new place, and the craziness has (somewhat!) subsided. (Do I even dare say that?!?!) HA!
As I have been reflecting on the last couple months, I have been overwhelmed with how God has worked out all the details of our move, the rental, even with the "thrown-in" extra of my husband having a broken leg. We have clearly seen how God has led, organized, and brought together all the details in a way we could not have planned otherwise.
I often forget all these things.
That God has a plan. That God knows everything. That God is in control. That God is all powerful.
And, somehow, all his high and lofty attributes include me. Somehow, here in this great, big universe with all its great, big "stuff" and people and governments and powers and wars and strivings and circumstances, God cares for me and my situation.
This truth is never more evident than when we look at the celebration of Easter. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus change everything.
And, the part that always breaks me is that he planned it.
He planned the coming down, the humbling of himself, the enduring in like manner with us the pains and cravings of this world. He planned the suffering, he knew he would be betrayed, despised, rejected, acquainted with griefs and sorrows. He knew he would bear the weight of my sin upon himself: he who did not ever know sin, who is himself the perfect holy judge against all manner of unrighteousness, bore that very sin for me. He planned the separation from his beloved Father (the weight of such separation I cannot begin to fathom). He planned to die.
For me. For me to receive mercy, to find grace, to have hope, to gain life abundant.
And he not only died, but was also raised- why? For my justification! That I might reign with him!
The resurrection is the culmination of all he planned to do. Because if he didn't rise, his death would have no meaning.
In his rising from the dead, he defeated all that plagues us: sin, and death, and hell.
In this then, we have hope: hope for being reconciled to God- having hope for life eternal!
The sting of sin and death is no more.
He is ALIVE!
This changes everything.
Accepting his life for mine changes my whole life. It means I no longer fear the grave. It means I live for more than what is here. It means I no longer need to feel shame, abandonment, or fear. It means I am no longer bound to sin. It means I am free. Free from guilt, free from sin. Free to live as God has called me- not to please myself, but to please the ONE who gave all, is above all, is in control of all, and who will reign over all.
Whatever pains and sorrows and sins and struggles and fears we face here have been forever defeated by Jesus. While we still experience the pangs of this sin-cursed world, we are no longer bound to it. We live for a greater kingdom, a kingdom that will never pass away!
"He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from the earth... 'Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us... let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!'" (Isaiah 25)
"Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"
This was the plan.
And, this is the Good News (Gospel) EVERYONE needs!
Many people will scoff at our having a religious "God crutch", but the truth remains:
Jesus lived here on this earth (ask them how we date our calendar... ahem... "B.C." and "A.D"). He has always been and always will be (See John 1, Genesis 1, Revelation 22). And, his plan includes us- all of us. This is why he came. No other person, priest, religious leader, or government official could ever do what Jesus did for us. Prophecies foretold it, events declare it, and our lives show it. We are not here by some accident or mere "happenstance". This changes everything (at least it should!)
This changes how we live. This changes how we interact with people. This changes how we approach our circumstances. How have you seen God at work in your life? Are you recognizing moments in your life where God is actively working? In what ways has the truth of the resurrection changed how you live? How are you declaring and living out these truths to people around you?
Check out some links below to encourage you as you approach the Easter celebrations- and to bolster your mind and spirit with truth. "I will tell what he has done for my soul!" (Psalm 66:16)
He has conquered every foe- therefore, "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain." (I Corinthians 15)
Christ is risen, he is risen indeed! Let's celebrate together!
Songs for Meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBnIKFd6nI4
(Check this out- super helpful, concise, and free!)
If you have littles, this is an awesome book! Check it out here: https://www.christianbook.com/the-garden-the-curtain-and-cross/carl-laferton/9781784980122/pd/980123?kw=the%20garden%20the%20curtain%20and%20the%20cross&mt=e&dv=c&event=PPCSRC&p=1020037&msclkid=f194febdcf701e07418a9cedc09e92aa&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Kids&utm_term=the%20garden%20the%20curtain%20and%20the%20cross&utm_content=tales%20that%20tell%20the%20truth
Check out this quick video by best selling author, Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ) to learn some evidences for the resurrection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT4Cj-Pi4m0
This is a longer video by author and historian, Dr. Gary Habermas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWSG5okmUr8
I also recommend these videos by The Bible Project- especially if you have older kids- they concisely explain different books of the Bible, answer questions/misconceptions, and BONUS POINTS: all in animated, eye-catching content. Check this one out on "the Gospel":