Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Musings

Happy Resurrection Sunday! I decided to take a departure from the current series on contentment in favor of some Easter musings. I big puffy heart love me some Dove chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps, but what I love even more is my Savior!

Last week, as I was reflecting on the wonder of Christ's sacrifice and everything that means for us who believe, I came across Colossians 2:13-15 which says, "
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Glory and hallelujah!

The portion of verse 14 that says "nailing [the written code] to the cross" brought to mind the verses in the Gospels dealing with Jesus' trial and crucifixion, specifically John 19:19-22. Within these verses, we are told that Pilate made a sign which said, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" in the three main languages of that day (Aramaic, Latin, and Greek). That sign, which bore His name, was nailed to Jesus' cross for everyone to read.

Here is what struck me about these two passages in Colossians and in John: The written code that accused us and demanded justice for our sins was nailed to the cross of Christ just as a sign bearing His name and His very body were nailed to that cross. Are you with me? It is not just that His body broken and His blood poured out provided for the forgiveness of our sins; it is also that His very name was nailed to that cross. There is power in His very name! "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).

On this glorious Easter day, I want to ask you one question: Have you confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, as your own personal Lord and Savior? I wonder about Pilate, who I believe was in a real heart-based quandary regarding whether Jesus really was Who He claimed to be. During His interrogation by Pilate, Jesus said to him, "I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice" (John 18:37). Pilate replied in the next verse, "What is truth?" I wonder what Pilate saw in Jesus' eyes, as Jesus spoke truth to him, even telling Pilate from where Pilate's power came (John 19:11). While Scripture does not say how Pilate ultimately chose to believe, I think it is important to note the exchange in John 19:21-22, just after Pilate had the sign nailed to Jesus' cross. The chief priests wanted the sign to state that Jesus merely claimed to be the King of the Jews, to which Pilate replied, "'What I have written I have written'" (v. 22). We will have to wait until Christ returns for His Bride to find out what happened to Pilate.

You may be in Pilate's shoes today, wondering what is truth. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). His very name has the power to save. I encourage you, plead with you, that if you never have given your life to Jesus, to call on His name today. Do not wait another day, hour, or minute to commit yourself to Him. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10). I pray with all my heart that you will not spend another day searching in vain for truth. Jesus wants a relationship with you. He wants you to spend time with Him in daily, continuous communion, and not just for a couple hours Sunday mornings.

If you have any questions about salvation, please leave a comment, and we will search the Scriptures together for answers. I encourage you to find a good, Bible-based church to help you grow in your faith and in your knowledge of Scripture. And remember that Christ died and rose from the dead so that you can have a new life!

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