Peter, by the time that rooster crows twice, you will have deny me three times!”
It’s Easter…or Resurrection Day. A day that a miracle happened. A day like no other. It wasn’t enough that Christ called out Lazarus from the grave. No, that would have been just too simple. Besides, the opponent didn’t know Lazarus as well as they knew Jesus. There are no real accounts of Lazarus in the bible…other than he died and was resurrected. We have no insights as to why he died. We only know that he was dead, and he rose again.
It’s that like Christianity is today? A lot of people, especially Christians, fill our churches on Easter Sunday. The only day out of the year where churches actually see near to capacity attendance. And for good reason: The account of Jesus’ resurrection carries with it a very strong message of hope! Let’s face it: every Christian leads a life of hardship. Some have it more extreme than others. But it’s those of us whom Jesus knows that will get the worst of the firey trials. Trials that will harden us to the point that we develop a sharp edge…an edge so fine, the Lord will use it to cut through the trail of legalized paperwork that man has set up for ourselves.
It’s not easy being Christian. Yes, there is the blessedness of life. We stumble onto Jesus either early or late, we revel in his forgiveness, in his everlasting love. Yet we are soon aware that trials are part of the program. We get knocked out of our safe zone. We get flattened like a steamroller. If we have any dross thing left over from the world we knew, it gets purged out of our system. And yes, the constant squeezing and wringing hurts. Sometimes it hurts like hell. You see, the life that Jesus beckons us to is a life of constant change. It’s not one that says “You have arrived!” It’s one of “A little further now!” On the road to Golgotha…it was a heavy burden until the final destination…yet it wasn’t the final, final destination. There is always a little bit more to go.
And that’s what many Christians don’t understand! We must be dying on a daily, constant basis, or there can be no resurrection of hope. The old flesh has to come off, peeled off, skinned alive. If you are not feeling like you are being skinned on a daily basis, then you aren’t really living the Christian resurrection. There’s no Sunday, there’s no Friday, there is no weekend. It’s a daily grind that leaves you totally exhausted. But within Christ, there is always rest. Rest knowing that your reward is with and in Him!
For the Christian the fighting of the process of being refined is not a trivial matter. When the Spirit beckons you, you cannot shrug it off. The Truth is hard to ward off. It’s not a Easter Sunday truth, it’s a 24/7/365 constantly-on-your-back truth. It never leaves you alone, it only walks beside you, opening your eyes, taking off the blinders so you can see what is real.
Yet many are walking, and will walk in denial. There are those that do not seek Jesus, do not seek His face. Their reliance is on other people, and other things. In short, they trivialize Jesus. But Jesus, the Lord of lords, still beckons to them: “â€śCome to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” It almost sounds like a small plea, doesn’t it? Yet Jesus doesn’t exclude anyone from the sound of His voice. It crosses defined borders, races, regions, and even time itself. They heard His voice 2,000 or so years ago, and we still hear His voice today. It’s as strong as ever. What remains to do is simply open our hearts and then our minds.
I’ll tell you what…If Jesus can interrupt the enemy’s plans by rising on the third day, and by truly forgiving man’s sins, no matter what they are….then we, as a fallen creation, can rise up to meet His expectations! So let’s do this thing called repentance and obedience…now and forever!