Easter’s promise fulfilled in mercy, grace, eternal life
By Linda Albert | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the midst of political warfare, loss of long-held liberties, threats of nuclear attack, financial ruin, illness, hatred of and hatefulness toward anyone who is “different,” there is good news: Jesus is still Lord.
Now, you might ask just what sand pit my head happens to be residing in. I can tell you quite simply and without doubt, I was blind but now I see. At the moment, I see through a glass, darkly, but the One who holds both the sand, the sight and the glass sees perfectly, both yesterday, today and tomorrow. That’s all I need to know.
Certainly, I have my moments. I become discouraged when the rapidly disappearing paycheck seems to cover fewer and fewer debts. When the supposed friend is exposed as not being a friend at all. When lies and half-truths are told. When dear ones face the horrors of cancer and other diseases that can rob them of their personhood if not their very life’s breath. I look around and I wonder ... Is God really here? Is He really in control? Why is this happening?
And then ... then comes Easter ... the “Amen!” to the Christmas story. The conclusion of all conclusions. The promise fulfilled.
Who is this Jesus, anyway, and why should I care that He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of a virgin, sowed seeds of everlasting love and everlasting life that, in the fullness of time, will accomplish all his purposes perfectly and completely? Why should I care that He suffered, bled and died with my name written on the palm of his hand in great bloody strokes?
This is what the Word of God says about Jesus in Isaiah 53:4 (KJV) and following:
“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
This Jesus was betrayed, just like we have been. He knew weariness, pain, hunger, just like we have known. He wept, just as we weep. Lies were told about him then and are told about him now, just as lies are told about us. Yet in spite of all that, Jesus took the punishment we, all of us, even those who make it their life’s work to despise and reject him, deserve. John 3:16 (KJV): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Notice, believers “have” — in present tense, now and forevermore — everlasting life.
It’s time we act like it, don’t you think? Put aside the poor-mouthing and live abundantly no matter what befalls us? Maybe ... maybe ... practice forgiveness?
From Hebrews 4: 16-18 (KJV): “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hallelujah, He is risen ... He is risen indeed.
Happy Easter, my friends.
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (email@example.com)