by Abraham Cremeens
Last weekend was quite the celebration. Holy Week reminds us every year just how much we have received in Jesus Christ. He went to such lengths in love for his people, caring deeply and actively for sinners and sufferers. He took time to teach the crowd and train his disciples. He faced ridicule and condescension. His back was flogged to bloody shreds, and he hung on a cross until it took his final breath. Death is a villain, a tyrant, an ugly foe that has wreaked havoc in our world since the very beginning. Jesus submitted himself to that very death.
But you do not crucify the Son of God and pin him there. You do not slay "the resurrection and the life" and hold him down. The tomb had to let him go because it was impossible for death to hold him. And that is why we party. Our sins are paid for, death lost, and Jesus won the war. What a God we serve!
Let me ask you, though: Was that a one-and-done celebration last Sunday, or will that mindset carry through the year? I am all for celebrating Easter. It is a special Sunday in our Christian calendar. But I fear we may lessen the impact of the resurrection for the other 364 days of the year. Resurrection celebration is not confined to a day but rather impacts every day. Do you live like that?
It is a call to live with resurrection realities as the foundation of every day. Below, I would like to pose two connecting points to real life. Consider them two reminders to hold onto when the going gets tough the remaining 51 weeks until our next resurrection party. I offer them as two questions:
1. What can’t God do?
Think about all the effort and money we expend to combat death. We hate death and it is perfectly appropriate to do all we can against it. But consider these common elements of our day all related to dealing with death: health insurance, life insurance, medical professionals, vitamins, dieting, prescriptions, etc. Yet humanity remains absolutely incapable of preventing death. Everyone dies eventually.
Resurrection Sunday reveals a more powerful truth. Jesus beat death. He delivered a mortal wound that leaves it on borrowed time. Further, even though Christians face physical death (unless Christ returns beforehand), Christ ensures we go on living into eternity. Death lost. Jesus beat death. He single-handedly defeated that villain we hate so much.
Now, if God can do this, then what can’t he do? Nothing.
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV)
Consider the other problems you face in this world. Is your marriage on the rocks? Is your parenting in a ditch? Do you fight depression and anxiety? Are you navigating a broken relationship? Is there anything you face that causes you desperation? I’m not going to promise an easy resolution, or any resolution at all, but I do want to impress this upon you: If God can defeat death, he can meet every other need you have.
This impacts what you pray for and the confidence with which you pray. There is nothing God cannot do, and the resurrection proves it.
2. What won’t God do?
Grace is inherently undeserved. You did nothing to receive anything from God via his death and resurrection. That was all him, generously so. But, similar to the above, it proves something. If God went to such lengths to love you, would he hold back anything else that you need?
Again, I do not advocate a health and wealth gospel (which is no gospel), nor do I offer a blank check (there isn’t one). God often has better plans than our specific dreams and prayers. We need to trust him when he goes a different route than we wish. However, it is the argument from the greater to the lesser. If he desired to beat death on your behalf and give you eternal life, then what won’t he do?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32 ESV)
If you see God as a reluctant, crotchety old man... don’t. He is the opposite, and he loves to be lavish on his children. He loves to be generous toward you.
God invites you to live with resurrection realities as your foundation. The celebration and impact of Jesus’ victory isn’t confined to a single weekend. It is a reality of life. He is powerful to do anything he wants. He is kind to want to do great things for his people. Rest in his resurrection realities every day.