Saturday, 16 April 2016

Easter has come and (not) gone

The Easter season of the year of our Lord 2016 has come and gone, but the reality of Easter has not gone anywhere.  The reality of Easter has come and remained. 

What happened at the first Easter, the atoning death and triumphal resurrection of Jesus Christ, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2), is a reality that we continually live within.  For those whose trust is placed in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, all of life is now lived in the transforming light of his redeeming death and restoring resurrection. 

More than this, the reality of Easter has come, has remained and is still extending.  Whenever the gospel is preached from a pulpit or from a kindness done in Christ's name, whenever a dad patiently loves his (noisy) kids at the end of an exhausting day at work in imitation of our loving and long-suffering heavenly Father, whenever a person sacrifices their own preferences and interests to put another ahead of self in imitation of Christ, whenever a mom shepherds her little (perpetually dirty) children around the home with a melody of praise to the Lord Jesus in her heart, whenever a husband, in imitation of Jesus, gives himself and his desire to be first up for his bride (and does the dishes for her when he'd rather be watching the game), whenever a wife submits to and respects her husband and models the love of church for Jesus, whenever we speak of what Christ has done for us to a neighbour or co-worker or soccer mom, whenever a child obeys their parents in the Lord, whenever an artist or a craftsman or a cook or a tradesman creates something with their God-given abilities and magnifies God's nature through their sweat and blisters and imagination, whenever a teenager refuses to cave to the pressure to live like a fool as part of the crowd and stands firm in the wisdom of God's Word, whenever someone in obedience to Jesus does not return evil for evil but loves those who persecute them, whenever someone prays for their enemy, whenever the church gathers before the elect and fallen angels and puts the unity of the body of Christ on cosmic display in our worship and our participation in the Lord's Supper......whenever any of these things happen, and much more besides, the reality of Easter is extending. 

Each act of obedience to Jesus Christ and his Word is a tiny ripple in the water of eternity, a small wave on the surface of history.  Each act of Christian love and obedience is a small death to sin and self and a choice to instead live and walk in the resurrection life of the indwelling and empowering Spirit of Christ.  The ripples began when Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.  The waves on the still surface began when Jesus rolled away the stone that sealed his tomb and cast that stone into the waters of time.  And from that moment, the waves have gone out, the concentric circles have widened, and the ripples continue to broaden, spreading the triumph of Easter to every corner of the earth and every area of human experience.  The ripples will spread by the working of the Holy Spirit, until all things are brought under the dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ, all to the glory of God the Father.  Easter will continue to send out waves until every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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