Saturday, April 7, 2012

He Is Risen! So What Does That Mean to You and Me?

These words from Hillsong United's song The Stand summarize the response of a heart touched by God's grace, 
"So what can I say, what can I do, 
but offer this heart, O God, 
completely to You."

When Jesus died on the cross, eternal life was made available to all. His sacrifice was perfect. His self-giving love unmatched. 2 Timothy 1:10 tells us that, on the cross, Jesus "destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." In 1 Corinthians 15:26, the apostle Paul calls death "the last enemy to be destroyed." What Jesus did for you and me on the cross impacts everything. His unequaled sacrifice deserves a response.

As I reflect on the depth of Christ's love,  Paul's prayer to the believers in Ephesus intrigues me,

"I pray that out of His glorious riches 
He may strengthen you with power 
through His Spirit in your inner being, 
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 
may have power, 
together with all the saints, 
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep 
is the love of Christ, 
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
(Ephesians 3:16-19)

According to Paul, we need power to grasp Christ's love for us! Perhaps he means that, if we grasped it fully, it would blow us away. We couldn't take it. If we could assimilate the magnitude of Christ's love, it would surpass every experience we've ever had and all the knowledge an eternity of books could hold.

Christ's love is a river of mercy and grace - precisely what we need most! Because of His sacrifice on that lonely cross two thousand years ago we can live free from the grip of sin and safe from the power of death. Christ's love is stronger than death itself. And His love endures. His love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). His love never ends (Psalm 106:1).

So what can I say to that? And what can I do? I can give Him this thankful heart - completely, surrendering all to the One who is trustworthy and good.

When I open my heart to Christ's river of mercy and grace - by the Spirit - His enduring love pours in like a flood. When I say yes, He moves in. Even death could not hold Him and, since He now lives in me, that means death cannot hold me. That means sin has lost its grip on me. That means I have a new life.

Indeed, when I say yes to Him, I am born again!

Jesus is risen! With Him and because of Him, we can rise and walk out of every grave unto new life. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Because of what He has done, I am a new creation! Alive. Made new. Loved.

And so are you.

He is Risen, that we may have life! Hallelujah!

May we all have a blessed and meaningful Easter celebrating our Savior and our Lord!
Dr Mari

For more Holy Week reflections, read What's So Good About Good Friday?

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