New Life: Easter Service
New Life, the resurrection of Jesus; the genesis of a new life and its threat to our comforts and complacencies.
This week, Christie Weathers shares her thoughts and reflections on Sunday's message.
In this inspiring message, Pastor Rich showed us that because of the Resurrection, we are free from the bondage of sin, free from oppression, free from injustice - and we have a hope that anchors our souls even when we don’t fully experience that freedom in this life.
The question Pastor Rich asked that struck me the hardest was, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? Tombs are for ded people - for the things in our life that give no evidence of true life.” As I mulled over this, I was so convicted of the various tombs I have “protected” in my life; approval, self-centeredness, self-preservation, comfort, independence… when I line these things up with the commands of Christ I find them to be utterly devoid of true life. They are the opposites of the truths that I find in Christ; cherished, others-focused, service, sacrifice, obedience, dependence on Christ. As Pastor Rich pointed out, “No place in your life that fosters death or decay or darkness is safe in the light of the Resurrection. The Resurrection of Jesus says that the brokenness of the world does not have power over us - Christ does.”
So often, I seek to put my trust in my own works. I want to be seen as strong and independent - instead of putting my trust in His strength and my dependence on Him. I want to be seen as beautiful and without flaw, instead of wanting others to see His beauty and flawlessness. I want to live a life of comfort and I get tired of serving and giving - forgetting that any service I can perform is in order to point to His ultimate service and His ultimate gift.
“If Good Friday is the end, we go back to whatever darkness and oppression we were in.” If Good Friday was the end of the story, I would have no hope - I could not rest in His goodness to cover my lack of goodness, His beauty to cover my brokenness, His perfection to be where my own approval is found. How utterly frail I am as a human - wanting to cling to the false, but tempting safety of my dead tombs instead of throwing myself fully on the grace and power of my Savior!
Because of the Resurrection, my hope is anchored in Christ. My hope is not anchored in my strength, my ability, my goodness - but in His. I am so aware of my weakness in this, and so thankful to be a part of a church body that exhorts me to look to Him, to seek His strength, to cling to His goodness and His truths.
The Resurrection of Christ offers a beauty and wholeness that eclipses all of the brokenness of our world. We were reminded that The Resurrection inaugurated hope and justice into our world. Sometimes, I admit, it’s hard for me to see that. My vision is so clouded by the pain and hardness that I see when I look around this world. But while we feel the effects of that pain, the effects of sin - they don’t oppress or bind us anymore. As Pastor Rich reminded us, “Easter is the last word. We see and feel suffering, bondage, pain, injustice, sin… and yet, Glory! Hallelujah!” He has conquered it all.
No tomb is safe.