We just celebrated Easter. Like Christmas, Resurrection Day has taken on all the trappings of the Secularist. New Beginnings. Spring. Freshness of rain and sun to wash away winter. Goddess of fertility. Tulips and Narcissus. Bunnies and dyed eggs and pure sugar jellybeans. Such misdirection.
Recently, I read and reread 1 Corinthians 15. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true, we, of all people, are most miserable. If the resurrection is a fable, why give our lives to a myth just to make ourselves feel better about inevitable death hanging over our heads. Let’s eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow only brings death, and with it, total silence. If Christ is not raised, nor will we be raised. Our faith is empty, says Paul. We are still in our sins. We might as well shake our fists at a mythical or unfaithful, mocking God who sits in a heaven reserved for Himself alone.
Ah, but we know better. We can read all the books on apologetics, proving the resurrection, and they help. But the greatest apologetic for the believer is the living and powerful Word of God which quickens our hearts to believe and understand the resurrection, the dynamite power that raised Christ from the dead, the same power that removed the glaze, the veil from our own spiritual eyes and lack of understanding concerning our Risen Lord. We now know wholeheartedly that we died in Adam. We, by faith, are certain we were made alive in Christ. Peter tells us we have been given a living hope, the confidence that comes from God Himself that we too will be raised from the dead, a heavenly inheritance that is not subject to earthly corruption or defilement, nor does it fade away. Peter continues to state that we are able to remain faithful to God despite the sure trials of this difficult life because His power and presence in the sufferings will prove the genuineness of our faith in Jesus Christ. The end result is the salvation of our souls. But only if we are His…
Life really is very short. The older we get, the shorter it seems. Eternity is a very long time. We know the day of our birth. We do not know the day of our death. God knows. God determined it. Are we ready? Do we know Him? Do we belong to Him? We can work hard to make ourselves acceptable to our Creator or to make sure we make the cut between heaven and hell, but He says our supposed attempts at righteousness are the same as filthy rags. Jesus will say to those who worked hard with wonderful deeds, “Depart from me, You workers of iniquity. I never knew you.” Terrifying. Our right standing before Christ is not based on our works or we would boast. It is based on His work for us, our sins placed on Him, His perfect righteousness given to us by grace alone, by faith alone, through Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9) God says we are dead in our sins and corpses do not respond or make decisions. Ask Him to make your heart alive to Him. You can’t conjure it up. He has to do it for you. He will take away your sins and make you His own daughter, and us, your sisters.
Trust Him, my friend, with all your soul. His Word says He is faithful to do it. He can be trusted completely. He will never deceive you. His faithfulness is without blemish, untarnished by any weakness.
” ‘Jesus sinners doth receive’,
word of surest consolation;
Word all sorrow to relieve, word of pardon, peace, salvation!
Naught like this can comfort give;
‘Jesus sinners doth receive.’
On God’s grace we have no claim,
yet to us His pledge is given;
He hath sworn by His own name,
open are the gates of heaven.
Take to heart this word and live:
‘Jesus sinners doth receive.’
When a helpless lamb doth stray,
after it, the Shepherd, pressing
thro’ each dark and dang’rous way,
brings it back, His own possessing.
Jesus seeks thee, O believe: ‘Jesus sinners doth receive.’
Oh, how blest it is to know: were as scarlet my transgression,
it shall be as white as snow by Thy blood and bitter passion;
For these words I now believe: ‘Jesus sinners doth receive.’
Now my conscience is at peace,
from the Law I stand acquitted;
Christ hath purchased my release
and my every sin remitted.
Naught remains my soul to grieve–
‘Jesus sinners doth receive.’ ”
(Hymn based on lyrics by Erdmann Neumeister 1671-1756)