On behalf of all our team here at Revive Our Hearts, I want to wish you a blessed and joyous Easter celebration!
This weekend we focus on two events that form the hinge of human history—two events set the Christian faith apart from all other religions. The first of those events—the crucifixion of our Lord—was both the greatest crime and the supreme act of sacrificial love in the history of mankind. The second of those events—the Resurrection—turned despair and apparent defeat and into eternal hope and victory.
But what does all this mean for us? Almost every day, I hear from our ROH listeners, many of whom write to share deep struggles and burdens. What difference do the Cross and the empty tomb make for those who are facing pain or tears or failure? Here are some of the implications of that momentous weekend for people like you and me:
- Are you plagued with guilt from your past? The Cross means that God's righteous anger against sin and sinners has been satisfied; the price has been paid. It means that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. When Satan stands to accuse you to the Father, Jesus stands to defend you!
- Are you frustrated with your inability to please God? The Cross means that Jesus has fulfilled all the righteousness of the law; because He has perfectly pleased His Father, those of us who are in Christ are also pleasing to God.
- Has a friend or family member sinned against you and caused you much grief? The Cross means that Jesus bore their sins as well as your own, and that He can enable you to extend forgiveness to the one who has wronged you the most deeply.
- Is your heart lonely, because friends or family members have neglected you? The Cross means that Jesus knows what it is to be utterly forsaken by family and friends. He endured the loss, so that you and I would never have to be truly alone.
- Are you grieving over loved ones you have lost? The Cross means that God understands what it is like to give up the one you love the most. Because the Father gave up His Son, our separations and losses are only temporary.
- Do you struggle to be free from sinful bondages and addictions? The Cross and the empty tomb mean that you do not have to continue in sin . . . Christ has broken sin's power to control you.
- Are you (or is someone you love) facing a terminal illness? The resurrection means that Christ has overcome death and that we, too, will be raised from the dead in the last day.
- Do you find yourself in circumstances that seem hopeless? The resurrection means that there is hope in the midst of every circumstance. It means that one day all tears will be wiped away and all sorrow will be turned to joy.
- Have you been disappointed by someone who broke a promise or was unfaithful to you? The Resurrection means that God always keeps His promises.
- Are you overcome by circumstances beyond your control? The Resurrection means that God is all-powerful and nothing is beyond His control. He can bring beauty out of ashes; He can cause even evil circumstances to bring Him ultimate glory.
So . . . this Easter week . . . don't try to run from the Cross. Let God use the pressure and the problems to make you more like Jesus.
And be sure to move beyond the Cross to the empty tomb. Allow the risen Christ to turn your doubts to assurance and your fears to faith. Lift your tear-filled eyes upward and let the Lord Jesus fill your heart with true peace and joy. Refuse to give in any longer to despair or discouragement or guilt. As the darkness and tears of that infamous Friday gave way to the joy and victory of Sunday morning, be assured that He will surely turn your darkness to light and your tears to joy.