Resurrection: Just the Right Time

Sunbeams

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise. Luke 24:1-7 


Remember how He told you?

Remember when He was walking the familiar, interacting with your world, He got very transparent and told you the horror that would unfold…

… and the victory we’d see over the unraveling and rebellion and grief?

It was all true. He was harmed for our infractions, tortured for our choices, pierced because we kept running away.

The path. The story. The game. The cross. The curtain. The tomb.

He walked the path to his execution… and told the story of another world… and embraced the criminal on the other cross while gasping for His own breath. He became the Mediator, ripping that temple curtain once and for all… and then lay abandoned in the earth and stone He Himself created before the start of time.

There is one God and one Mediator between God and us—the man Jesus, God’s Anointed,
Who gave His life as a ransom for all so that we might have freedomThe testimony was given to me at just the right time.  Timothy 2:5-6

Are you with me this Easter Sunday? Are you hearing this testimony, this message of freedom, “at just the right time?”

You may be like Simon of Cyrene, bravely trying to start a new chapter in life. Maybe you’re the nameless women, overlooked and grasping for redemption in the wrong places. Or maybe you’re hiding your fear with arrogance, trivializing your pain like the soldiers. Are you void of purpose like the thief on the cross, alone in your poor choices and lacking any hope of restoration? Or like the centurion, you may be seeing truth for the first time ever and feel like it’s too late. Maybe you’re collapsed in grief, confused at how your life’s unfolded like Christ’s followers the night they placed Him in a tomb.

Friend, this ransom, this freedom, is for you, and it comes at just the right time.

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

Why do you keep trying to start over one more time? Why do you hope in only what you can see? Why do you cover up your pain? Why do you sit paralyzed, stagnant, thinking you’re beyond redemption? Why have you left the table, convinced it’s too late to join the conversation? Why do you sit defeated because you’re not in control?

The answers are not there. No, He has triumphed over all of your grasping. “He is not here, but has risen… so that we might have freedom.”

Ah yes, this testimony, this truth, “comes at just the right time.” Go worship.

Happy Easter.

photo source | Blake Richard Verdoorn

Preparing for Easter (Join Me)

Train 2I seem to have stepped on a fast-moving train. I don’t remember boarding, and I certainly didn’t know it would move at this speed. I think I would have chosen something else.

I look around me, and I see beauty. I really do. I see beauty in the scene outside my window, and I pause for a second to breathe deep and drink it all in. But I’d rather be breathing deep on the other side, feet standing their ground, motionless. And I see beauty in the faces of those outside, watching my train race by their peace. They’re all so different, and I wish I could hear every single one of their stories.

But I’m racing instead, journeying to who knows where at record speed.

It’s humbling. I’ve learned to set boundaries, but now they’re mocking me. I’ve learned to say “no”, but I’m clearly not in control right now. I’ve promised over and over to live, but it’s taking great effort to not be numb.

In one week, I’ll celebrate Christ’s resurrection. I’ll delight in His triumph, and I’ll claim the hope that comes in knowing there’s a story bigger than my own. I’ll read that rescue plan with my name on it, and I’ll be amazed life truly can come from death. I’ll remember I was created for a different world where dying and suffering and bad choices and sin will be no more. I’ll exchange loneliness for eternal community with God… insecurity for the bliss of not thinking about myself… shame for Christ’s righteousness.

But I’m racing, and I don’t want to miss it.

Maybe your life is moving too fast, too. Maybe you had every intention of a Lent reading plan, but now you’re just trying to wake up from the detachment. Maybe you’ve forgotten you were created for a different world, and the urgency of your everyday is forefront on your mind.

I invite you to jump off the train with me and pause. Come with me into six different stories from just one day in history before we celebrate on Easter morning. We’ll slow down and touch some tangible things from Christ’s execution day. We’ll turn them over and over in our hands, and hopefully our hearts will follow. We’ll ponder and reflect and in doing so, we’ll be able to celebrate Christ’s resurrection that much more on Sunday.

A path. A story. A game. A cross. A curtain. A tomb.

Yes, instead of racing, we’ll open our eyes and ponder how each of these elements in Luke 23 connect to not only our own stories but with an eternity we can not see yet. We’ll start on Monday.

Monday | The Immigrant’s Path
Tuesday | The Unseen Story
Wednesday | The Game of Mockery
Thursday | The Other Cross
Friday | The Temple Curtain
Saturday | The Borrowed Tomb
Easter Sunday | Resurrection: Just the Right Time

I hope you’ll join me.

goodfriday

photo source (train) | Femke Ongena
photo source (cross) | Jametlene Reskp