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It's Still Easter
Easter is a time we celebrate with eggs and candy, food and family. More meaningfully, we celebrate the life we have because of the life of Jesus.
A professor in college taught us the following idea that has stuck with me through the years. God's love put Jesus on the cross. But a loving God with no power is a happy thought with no way to have true impact on my life. God's power brought Jesus back from the dead. Yet a powerful God without love is a scary thought to behold. Yet our God is the perfect balance of love and power; the power to create all things and to destroy all things, yet He loves us so much that He patiently endures the misery of watching us sin and disobey in order to shower us with forgiveness when we turn to Him.
For those who follow Jesus, in baptism, we die to sin, as Jesus died on the cross. We die to ourselves and our selfishness. When we follow Jesus, we die as He died. Yet when we follow Jesus, we also live, as He lives. As Jesus rose from the dead, we also will rise from the dead in the end. Yet we do not have to wait until our physical bodies die to receive new life. When our selfish self dies, then we rise as a new creation as Jesus rose. This is a life that is available to every single person, no matter how old, and no matter how "bad" they have been.
The only problem is, many people are still in the dark, and maybe that's you. You may not even know you're in the dark or you may be comfortable there. Most of the time, those who are in the dark feel that something is missing, and search for light wherever it may be found. That first Easter, Jesus rose from the dead yet many still mourned His death as though He remained dead. They didn't know he rose, they were still in the dark. Many saw Him but were blinded by their own grief or confusion and didn't recognize HIm. Sometimes that is us. Things point to our Creator all around us but often we are blinded to it. The first disciples hid in fear, locked in a house and Jesus had to miraculously appear to them. And still, they didn't believe, not until they saw the marks in his wrists. Everyone points blame at poor Thomas for "doubting" yet for whatever reason he wasn't there to see for himself when all the other disciples got to see Him. We all can be like the disciples, wanting proof, wondering if we really are forgiven, if we really have salvation, if there really is a good God who loves us and is in control of the universe.
The disciples on the road walked with Jesus for miles and still didn't recognize Him. Can you blame them? They thought Jesus was dead, why would they think He would walk by their side. Our world and society tells us so many lies, often we can be blinded to the truth because we've been drilled to believe that God isn't there and if He were, then He doesn't care. Or that God is just an idea that is "true" no matter what you believe about Him (yet how can everyone be right if almost all religions clash somehow)? The world likes to cloak the light, to hide it, to try to snuff it out. Yet the light will always prevail over the dark.
God is amazing. If you're reading this, I hope you put your trust in what Jesus has done for you and receive His forgiveness. If you already believe in Him, I hope you continue to grow stronger in your relationship so that you can experience more of God's kingdom while you're still here on Earth.
It's still Easter. He is risen. Let us cling to the hope we have in Him and live life in service to Him.