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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reflections upon the Upcoming Easter

As I was starting up a new Bible study on the Proverbs 31 woman, I came across the story called “The Bridge.” It’s a fairly common illustration used to represent the sacrifice God made for us by sending His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. It’s what Easter is about. As I finished reading the story, I was impacted by the author’s very words about how we should live

Obedient to the point of death, Jesus hung there so that we could spend eternity with Him in heaven. Such amazing grace proves His great love for us. Knowing this, do we dare spend our lives, as those people on the train, doing whatever we want? (Folkerts 26)

The reference to “those people on the train” is what you’ll see when you watch the movie (based upon the story mentioned above which is linked at the end of my post).They are the people who go on in life, not realizing or caring about the sacrifice God made by sending His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Her words penetrated my heart. How can I live my life doing as I please when I owe my life to God?

I was especially reflecting upon this thought the other day. At a certain point in life, you take a look at the big picture, the responsibilities and duties, problems without answers, and suddenly life looms over your head like a nightmare. It’s not the wonderful life you knew before. And then life just gets you down. I think everyone has been there. I know I certainly was there! Suddenly I just wanted to quit on life. I wanted to say “STOP!” and make everything stop so I could do what I wanted. I wanted to say, “I’m tired of fighting the good fight and trying to do right- I want to just relax and not think about it!” I just wanted to be able to “quit” on life. The truth of the matter was and is that you simply cannot quit on life. You just can’t. It continues on. So here I was facing this obstacle of not being able to quit but wanting to, praying that God would take these awful feelings away and give me strength, and then suddenly I was thinking about the aforementioned quote and the story. How dare I even think about quitting when Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for me? My problems are (believe me, they really are) miniscule in the schemata of things. Others are far worse off than I, and here I want to give up just because life is overwhelming? I owe my life to God, yet suddenly I decide it’s too much, and I’m ready to throw in the towel. Did Christ do that to me? Did He say, “I can’t take it?” No! He endured it, with much pain and suffering, knowing that the outcome would be joyous for Him to be able to save us.

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Heb 12:2 ESV)

If Christ, who went through so much more suffering than I have ever been through, was willing to go all the way to the cross to suffer for us, shouldn’t I be willing to continue on doing what I’m doing, fighting the good fight? God apparently thinks so:
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
(2Ti 2:3 ESV)

For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
(1Pe 2:20 ESV)

I owe it to Him. It’s a given that we will go through tough times, but we must take heart, remembering the ultimate sacrifice Christ paid for us, knowing before the beginning of the world what He would have to do, yet never shying away from his duty. As we remember this Easter season, let’s look to Christ for our strength to get through the tough times in life; He is our joy. He is ours and we are His.

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