Easter Changed EVERYTHING!

Easter changed everything. This Sunday is Resurrection Sunday! The resurrection was Jesus’ most significant defining moment. Satan put all of his cards on the table at the cross. And through the resurrection Jesus made a “public spectacle” of Satan’s very best effort (Col. 2:15). Through the resurrection Jesus over came sin, the cross, and even death so that he could give all Christ-followers a heritage of victory (Isa 54:16-17). Christ death on the cross was required for the forgiveness of our sin, but His resurrection from the dead for our freedom and victory.

What a story! A real God sent His real and only Son to died on a real cross for my and your real sin. A blameless man took our well-deserved punishment. He carried our guilt, shame, and pain to the cross so that we could know the love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy of God.

Easter changed everything. All we believe as Christ-followers is based on the actual resurrection of Christ. Jesus made some outrageous claims, including that He would die, and resurrect on the third day. Those outrageous claims make it impossible for Jesus to be just a good teacher or just another prophet.

Jesus could be a liar…if He made those claims knowing they were not true. Jesus could be a crazy lunatic…if He made those outrageous claims really thinking they were true, but they ended up not being true. If Jesus is a liar or crazy either how can He also be a good teacher or great prophet as some have tried to picture Him? On the other hand, if Jesus made those outrageous claims, then backed them up He can be nothing less than Lord. Let me cut to the chase, Jesus is Lord. Not just our Savior….not just our Forgiver….but our Lord and Leader.

With Jesus, our job as Christ-followers is to surrender to His Lordship….truly allowing Him to be our leader. God has delegated everything to Jesus due to “His obedience even unto death”. Jesus came as the “author and finisher of our faith”. He is our example of how we are to live. Jesus demonstrated surrender, obedience, and sacrifice to God. Like Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5-6 the Bible says that “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

I am reminded if what Pilate said to the crowd when Jesus was on trial before him. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, but he also knew the religious leaders had the crowd whipped up into a frenzy. Pilate’s question in Matthew 27:22 was “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” The crowd shouted louder and louder, “Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!”

This week, as you are mindful of all the events surrounding the week of Easter, instead of “crucify him”, may Jesus hear our voices shouting “Praise Him! Praise Him!” and even a simple “Thank you, I am so grateful for your sacrifice.” So, what are you going to do with Jesus, who is called Christ?

Jesus is Lord because He fulfilled all of those outrageous claims. Jesus is much more than just a Savior. Surrender your heart and will to Him so that He can be immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine.

God’s One Glaring Problem

God has one glaring problem; He thinks He is God! And of course, He is God, which even makes it worst because as usual He is right… again. In Exodus 20:3 God makes His intention crystal clear, ”You shall have no other gods before me.”

Christ-following, at is most basic level, is simply coming to grips with God truly being “God”, with Jesus truly being “Lord”, and with the Holy Spirit truly being the controlling influence of your life.

Even Jesus had to make a choice to surrender to God’s will and purpose for His life. In Philippians 2:5-6 the Bible says that “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped……” What a phrase!!! Even though Jesus was in His very nature “God”, “He did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped”.

Yet as people, who in our very nature are a long, long way from being God, we somehow believe that it is our right and duty to “consider equality with God as something to be grasped”. How? What would you call knowingly, willful disobedience for example? Each time God asks something of us and we choose to not surrender to His will and purpose are we not in fact making our opinion, and our will equal to His?

As people, we have learned to blame such disobedient behavior on things such as fear, our comfort zone, procrastination, just being human, we will never be perfect after all, etc. But the reality is that we really do not want anyone telling us what to do, including God.

Folks, this deal is pretty simple. God is “God”, and we are not. His ways are not our ways, His deeds are not our deeds, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is God!!! He is so far beyond our imagination that we will never truly grasp His majesty and glory. And after all, would you even want a God that you could dissect and fully grasp? In some ways God has made Himself fully known and understandable, yet in other ways God is an amazing mystery.

The Bible says in Ephesians 1:3-11 & 2:8-10 that God knew you and chose you before the world was created, that He created you then prepared in advance a list of good works for you to accomplish in your lifetime, and that as time reaches fulfillment He will make the mystery of His will known to you.

Our job? Love God with ALL of our heart and with ALL of our soul, and with ALL of our mind. Seek first God and will take care of the details and make the mystery of His will known to you at the proper time. Embrace Him as God. Surrender to Him and His purposes for you. Surrender your right to debate with Him or to see equality with His as something to be grasped. Surrender your plans and your dreams for the future to Him. Choose, as an act of your will, to have no other gods before Him. And don’t forget to thank Him for the next breath you take because He is the one who gives it to you.