April 9, 2007
“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46.10a
I love Easter! It is my favorite day of the year. The Christmas season is wonderful with all the lights and decorations and parties and busy-ness of the month of December, but Easter…! Well, Easter is, to me, the best day of the whole year. Easter is the day on which God wins. Finally, ultimately, God prevails, and all the power and strength of the world – of sin, evil, darkness and death – are defeated. In the end, God wins.
We underestimate Easter power for our lives, and in the weeks ahead, I will work through some of the different forms the Easter victory takes – practical ways Easter is made real in individual lives. But Easter itself, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is God’s day and God’s victory. It’s like an eternal proclamation from God to every generation: This is My world and My creation, and I rule with a power beyond anything known to you – the power of life and love beyond your understanding, even beyond your imagination.
On Easter we celebrate what God can do, not what we can do. In the Incarnation of Jesus, God built the first half of His bridge between heaven and earth. In that tiny stable in an obscure village, God reached down and joined His divine, everlasting kingdom with our dirty and dying world. More astonishing than that, when the stone rolled away from the tomb and the Son of God stepped out, robed in the glorified and resurrected flesh of Jesus, the other half of the God’s bridge was completed. Not only did God visit us here; He threw open the gates of heaven and welcomed His creation home. The Resurrection is all about God. We are witnesses and the beneficiaries, but nothing else. The very best we can do is stand in silence and awe before such a God. Be still.
There is war around us, the threat of nuclear war looms like a dark shadow in the background. Be still. This is God’s world, and in the end, God will prevail. A possible pandemic is on the horizon; reports would have us fear a plague of incalculable proportion. Be still. God is the Giver of life; death will not win. Loud threats regarding the end of the globe grow deep, hidden fears. Be still. Man is not more powerful than God. There will be no earth when God decides, if God decides, not human beings. Floods and hurricanes and tsunamis ravage the earth and steal human life. Be still. The final word belongs to God, and it is the Voice of triumph. A cacophony of voices competes for our allegiance and values; everyone has a claim about how to invest our lives. But the empty tomb is the unalterable and unfailing truth for all time. Be still and allow God to reign. None of these things will win; in the end, the victory belongs to God.
The challenge for most Christians comes in the wish that every day be a resurrection day, but that is not so. The Resurrection came after the death, and we must enter into the darkness, the chaos, the looming defeat, and the turbulence that swirls around us. We cannot hide from the world and then find ourselves standing at the empty tomb and celebrating. We have to own the deaths that come our way and let them wash over us, until the Giver of life raises us up. We must be still in the midst of the storms raging in the world and in our lives, letting God be God. Crucifixions are hellish, even little ones we experience, but resurrections are unspeakably beautiful.
Are you afraid? Be still and know there is no power on earth greater than God. Are your heart and soul empty, bordering on death? Be still before God; He has brought you to death in order to give you life. Is your life unmanageable and out of control? Be still. Let the chaos sweep you into the arms of Christ, Who will lift you to your resurrection. Do anger, untruth and hatred fester within you? Be still. God will not tolerate their presence for long, and He alone can destroy their power over you. In every circumstance and every moment of life, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ reveals that God is God and we are not. Be still.
The key to living resurrection lives is to hang every and all hope on God. If God does not follow through and prevail, we have no hope. If God does act as He has promised, we have every hope. The Resurrection makes perfectly clear that the only trustworthy place to invest our lives is in the heart of God. In the end, God wins – not the world, not you, not me, not powers or rulers or authorities. God wins.
I love Easter! I don’t deserve it, but I love it!
In Christ –
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