And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.
–John 12:32 (KJV)
From front to back, post to post, this–what’s happening right here–, has been an effort to bring focus to the glory of God; inspiring that same glory in us to be given back to Him in praise.
I’ve stepped back from a lot of things in my lifetime, in an attempt to bring focus to the “important” things; sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. But stepping back recently has been for the purpose of seeing clearly. I’ve been spiritually farsighted, blinded to the things right in front of me because I’ve set my eyes on the things which are not yet here. Verses come to mind which I can offer as vindicates on my behalf for my decision to refocus:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
–2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
How much pressure is it, when we realize that we are held accountable for every thought. We are to bring them into captivity. Maybe this is what it means to live unto new life. To live transformed by The Resurrection. If so, Easter isn’t what we think it is.
What then? Is Easter Really About the Resurrection?
Yes! Easter is about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Easter is also called Resurrection Sunday: a day to celebrate the victory of the cross and the triumphant resurrection from death! But it was more than an act of love, it was an instruction for life.
Jesus lived an exemplary life, a life of leadership, a perfect life. We rejoice in His triumph, conquering the human condition by living the human life.
Jesus died an exemplary death; His death was as His life: it brought victory and liberty from sin. This is the gospel of Easter: that we would be crucified with Christ and raised to new life again with Him.
What then? Are We Not Living Real Life Now?
No! Rather, not fully. I find in my spiritual moments that what bothers me the most is what doesn’t bother me. The things that ought to cause unrest within and to make my spirit unsettled are slowly eroding my spiritual boundaries and quenching the Holy Spirit in me. I can honestly say that I often feel like I’m not living a full life. In part it is because I do not fully idenitfy with Christ.
What is a Christian?
A Christian is a Christ-follower, or a little Christ as the people of Antioch would call them. We are the image bearers, the ambasadors of Christ to the world. But to be called a Christian means that we identify with the life Jesus lived and the death He died. Do you identify with His death and resurrection?
To truly identify with the resurrection of Jesus we must first endure the crucifixion. A man can say, “I want to be raised to new life”, yet he is unwilling to die the necessary death first. We will never experience the triumph of the resurrection until we have suffered the pain of the crucifixion.
Easter is a Fantasy
We dress it up and make it look good, appealing and family-oriented. I’m talking about churches and Christians, not secularism. The world isn’t the problem, the world is the symptom, the effect and manifestation of the problem. In Christendom, we make Easter out to be a celebration of what has been done for us. This glorious salvation! Yes, it is about how Jesus arose from the dead, but it doesn’t end there.
For Christians, Easter should call to remembrance the most gruesome tale of death: the massacre of our Lord Jesus. A death we caused. When we see our sins as stripes upon the body of Jesus; more, when we realize that Christ had to suffer THIS death, THIS torment and none other: that every scar was purposefully inflicted with sins in mind, we have a new perspective on life itself.
Your sin drove the whip, shards of metal and bone wound in its cords. The lie you told when you were a child lashed the flog toward your Christ, ripping chunks of flesh from His body. The small item you stole when no one was looking was responsible for mangling the human form of the Savior.
Every sin has its place and part in the bloody scars upon the back of Jesus.
As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
–Isaiah 52:14 (KJV)
On Palm Sunday, Islamic terrorists murdered over 40 people and injured hundreds in two Egyptian churches. This is how Muslim radicals regard our days of worship and celebration, which should cause us to realize anew what it means to be crucified and resurrected with Christ.
“America is a nation of believers.”
–President Donald Trump
Sometimes I think we need to be reminded of that. Are we true believers in God and in each other? Are we living like dead people raised to life?
I Want You to Want More
The reason I write is not so that I will get more followers, but that I will get more of my followers and them more of me. As I attempt to uplift Christ and bring focus to Him, His majesty, and His gospel, I pray that each of you would want more of Him.
I want the reason you read to be because you want more of God. As I lift Him up, He promises to draw all men unto Himself! I love you all, you’re awesome. I mean that honestly. I pray for you daily and pour much of myself and my effort to enlarge the glory of our God into these posts. For He alone is worthy, for He alone shall be praised! No, I don’t want more of you, I want you to want more of Him. Send me comments if you’ve got questions or just wanna talk about the post today!
As always, thanks for reading and Happy Easter everyone!
—the anonymous novelist