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An Easter message from Joyce Mehl...

What does the Resurrection mean to me?

As we celebrate the season of our Risen Lord, I have found myself asking this question.  I have also found there are numerous answers.  The Resurrection, first of all, means the rising from the dead of our Lord and Savior, and the completion of His earthly life and ministry to secure our salvation and eternity with Him.  For which we rejoice and celebrate!

The forgiveness of sin, and the gift of eternal life with Him, have been made available to us through His willingness to leave His home with the Father in Heaven, whom He loves so much.  Scripture says Jesus left the bosom of the Father - a place of warmth, love, and joy - to come to earth and fulfill the will of His Father (John 3:16).  As I pondered in my heart the great and many sacrifices and total obedience this required of the Son, it took me back to the beginning of His life on earth, and the many things involved in our salvation.

It took me back to: a tiny life, a baby, that came to earth containing all of the innocence and sinlessness of Heaven, and all the hope for mankind.  This was the beginning of the only way to restore fellowship with the Father, which was lost by the sin of the garden of Eden (Genesis 3), and the only way to erase the sin of man, ensuring an eternal presence with God.

It took me back to: a man who was fully man, and also fully God.  A man who walked among the lost and needy, who willingly traveled a road so very different from the golden streets of Heaven.  Instead of the music of angels, He heard the cry of sin, and the desperation of a creation in trouble (Matthew 8:20).  Yet He walked with faithfulness, and brought encouragement, joy, and hope to all He tirelessly and unselfishly touched.

Then it took me back to: a man, a God-man in a garden, who felt the burden of the world of sin.  There was also the anticipation of separation from his Father, a Holy Father, who could not look upon sin.  A Father who would be forced to turn away from a Son who was perfect and obedient.  A Son so loved and cherished by His Father, and who loved His Father so much, that He was willing to trust Him to the fullest (Matthew 26:39).  Knowing that the Father would accept His sacrifice and forgive the sins of mankind, He endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him, and for a return to the Father, to a place prepared for Him at the right hand of the Father, in the thrones of heaven.

It took me back to: another garden, the sacrifice completed, and the joy of an empty tomb.  An empty tomb that made all questions and doubts disappear.  He had arisen as He said!  He truly was and is as He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).  For a time He again walked the earth to appear to those He loved and died for.  And then He ascended to the Father, as He said He would.  But our Savior would not simply leave mankind by themselves.

Then...

It took me back to: His words in John 16:7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send Him to you."  A promise!  And another promise He kept!  He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in our lives.

If there had been no birth, life, death, resurrection, or ascension, we could never have His Spirit within our hearts.  We can walk with Him every day.  We can serve Him every day.  We can live in His love every day.  I thought, "This is the whole resurrection message!"

Well, almost!

At last, I remembered something else Jesus said.  "I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also" (John 14: 2b,3).

And where is He?  He is seated at the right hand of the Father amidst the thrones of Heaven (Colossians 3:1).  And He has prepared a place for us!

To me, the Resurrection is not just a moment.  It is a life.  In music there is a movement called the crescendo, which means the volume gradually gets louder.  To me, the Resurrection was the crescendo of a life, which gradually and willingly endured all the pain and sacrifice necessary to bring me close to Him, and to ensure my presence in the place He has prepared for me.

To quote the words of Pastor Ron, "Have you embraced the blood price he paid to secure your place in heaven?"

What does the resurrection mean to you?



 
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An Easter message from Joyce Mehl...


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