A Few Posts for Easter Weekend

First off, I took this picture several years ago in southern France (Nice). I was walking through the remains of a very old stone fortress. As the sun burst into the darkness, I was reminded that there was once a dark morning and empty tomb that exploded with light. It created a moment of awe, thankfulness, and joy. This week and weekend provides us a great opportunity to reflect on and rejoice in that weekend two-thousand years ago.

But even for us as Christians, it’s easy to spend more time focusing on the holidays than the meaning behind those holidays. Usually with Easter, there are travel plans, cleaning, meals to make, and candy to buy. This year, a lot of that has changed and Easter will have a bit of a bittersweet flavor as so many of us celebrate alone. Hopefully, even this reminds us this is not forever but we have true and living hope that separation, fear, sickness, and death does not have the ultimate say. Jesus–the one who conquered the grave, reigns from heaven, and will soon return–has the ultimate say.

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Resurrection Hope

(This devotion is day twenty-five of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-28, 42-58

After an entire chapter on the resurrection, the most extended and exhaustive New Testament passage on the subject, Paul ends it with two punctuating remarks. The first is that this glorious reality and hope leads to thanksgiving. If anything should lead to giving thanks, it’s reading 1 Corinthians 15. As this song reaches its climax, he thunders out, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

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The Past, Present, and Future Realities of the Resurrection

We each have a story that includes a past, present, and a future. The Bible also tells a story; a narrative of historical events full of significance for all of humanity.

As those united to Jesus, we are made participants in God’s story and cast as characters in the drama of redemptive history. The resurrection of Jesus is one of those climactic moments in both Jesus’ life and the Bible’s story of God redeeming a people and restoring His corrupted creation. When we think of Jesus’ resurrection we should consider the past accomplishment, the present effects, and the future realities dawning upon us. As participants of the story through union with Christ, we must see how the resurrection rewrites our past, remakes us in the present, and reshapes our future.

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The Cross is Central but Incomplete

Jesus’ sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection stand at the center of the “good news” Christians stake their lives upon. The Bible joins the bloody cross and empty tomb as two distinct but inseparable events. And yet, many of our gospel presentations and theological conversations refer to the cross as the place where salvation was fully accomplished and the deal was sealed. Christ’s resurrection is either left out or tacked on as the cherry on top. I’m thankful evangelicals have been “cross-centered” but it’s unfortunate we’ve moved the resurrection to the periphery.

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