Easter is only a week away and many people are getting ready to celebrate. Easter egg hunts are organized, churches plan for communion, foot washing ceremonies, Good Friday and Sunday sunrise services and there are others, depending on denomination and tradition. Regardless of how we celebrate we are remembering the Risen Christ.
Can you imagine what our life would be like if Jesus hadn’t come as the perfect sacrifice? God has been since time began. He created the perfect world, yet man chose to sully it with sin. Since the first infraction, we have continued to make bad choices! Yet God in his divine mercy forgives us. He doesn’t look at us without compassion or understanding when we repent, but stretches out his arms and welcomes us back into his arms.
King David was considered “a man after God’s own heart,” yet he was human and often made bad choices. He chose many wives and specifically another man’s wife, had an affair, had the husband killed and more. Still he cried out to God, “Don’t give up on me!” He loved God and was passionate about worshiping him. He asked for God to “Create in me a clean heart!” and begged God to not “banish him from his (God’s) presence.” David recognized his failures, repented and accepted the punishment.
King David was not the only Biblical figure to make bad choices. Cain killed his brother; Abraham lied to kings as he traveled; King Saul who actually started out good, ended up trying to kill David; and Saul who later became Paul, was adamant about persecuting Christians before God changed his life.
We are no different. Everyday we make choices and everyday we fail. We are nothing more that broken vessels who keep trying to live according to God’s will. Our lives can often be paralleled to the dry, broken, bones as described in Ezekiel before God breathed life into them. Just as God breathed new life into those dry bones, He breathes new life into us daily as we repent of our failures and start anew. Every day offers a new opportunity to make things right!
When God makes the changes others can see, are we surprised? I think sometimes we might be. There are times when God makes such dramatic changes in lives, there is an element of surprise and perhaps even suspicion. Consider again, Saul who became Paul. People weren’t sure they could trust him since they were completely aware of his past behaviors.
People can be uncertain how to respond to us when we’ve allowed God to restore us to His salvation and creates in us the genuine desire to follow His will and choose his guidance and direction over the ways of the world.
As a child of the King, we need not be surprised at his ability to change a mere human’s heart. He’s done other great things, even giving life to the dead. Jesus, the Messiah, is the perfect example of this. Jesus willingly went to the cross as the perfect sacrifice and then he was raised from the dead so we can be assured of serving a living God.
God kept his promise to send the Messiah. It is this reason we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. He will also keep his promise to again return. I hope you’re ready!
Happy Easter, everyone!