“Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy” (Isaiah 26:19). In Luke’s account of Christ’s resurrection, angels proclaimed to the women: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (24:5-6). This joyous news must have taken them off guard. After all, they came to Jesus’ tomb bearing burial spices with which to anoint the lifeless body of their Lord. Instead, they find dazzling angels standing watch next to an empty tomb, and hear news that they will never find Christ in a place of death and darkness. As Easter draws closer, have you considered which aspects of your life God wants to breathe life into?
Many of us have strained familial relationships that seem only to worsen when we get together for meals and services around the holidays. Do you pray for the members of your family regularly? Are you willing to open up your heart to start loving them the way God loves each and every one of them? Remember,“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
If Christ’s work on the cross teaches us anything about friendships, it’s that forgiveness and grace trumps all. After all, mere hours before his gruesome death, Jesus was ignored, abandoned, denied, and betrayed by his closest friends. He could have equally been speaking of Peter, a man in his inner circle, when he begged on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Yet, even after being left alone and misunderstood, Christ still made the ultimate act of love for his friends (and the world).“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
Often our “good” side is saved for our friends and loved ones, while our places of work get the short (or grumpy) end of the stick. As you ponder the work Christ did on the cross, and the glory of his resurrection, remember that our work can be a beautiful echo of his perfect work, holy and pleasing to God.“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:10-12).
Intersecting Faith and Life: What area of your life needs to come alive in honor of Easter? How can you seek Christ daily in your relationships and duties?