Easter Sunday is over. At my house, the baskets are piled high with candy that will never be eaten. Our Sunday church clothes are piled in the clothes basket waiting to be washed. Our bellies are still full from the Easter ham, sweet potato casserole, and macaroni and cheese. The milk chocolate bunny is staring right at me saying, “Do it! Eat the ears first.”
So, now what?
What do I do now with the message of Resurrection Sunday?
First, I can choose to be like the chief priests who tried to cover up the resurrection with lies and bribes, knowing it really happened, but choosing to cover it up due to fear. Yes, it can be a scary thing when Jesus comes in and wants to change your world. We can deny Him to the end, but we are only hurting ourselves. I almost laugh thinking that these officials seemed to think that if they denied the resurrection then Jesus would be like, “Oh, well I’ll just quit now since they are bribing each other to deny me.” Today, people do the same. They seem to think, “If I just deny Him, then it won’t matter. God is loving so, well, whatever. It doesn’t matter.”
Another thing we can choose to do is be like Thomas. Thomas chose to doubt. I think one reason why was because he wasn’t as strong has the other disciples (purely my opinion) for the simple fact he wasn’t there when Jesus first appeared to His disciples behind locked doors. I have no idea where Thomas was. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that to me, it seems like Thomas wasn’t fully following Jesus. I’d compare him to those Easter and Christmas church attendees. Our names may or may not be on any particular church roster. They know the ins and outs of the Christmas and Easter stories, but are never around to get more out of having a deeper, real, life changing relationship with Christ. They doubt Christ more than other Christians because they haven’t spent time getting to know Him. Like Thomas, they have to have that physical proof that Jesus is really who He says He is.
Or I can be Paul. Paul, like me, walked in darkness. We mocked other Christians. We chose to deny Christ. But one day, Christ revealed Himself to us. We had a choice as to what we were going to do with that. Well, you know Paul’s story. Paul, whom was originally called Saul, gave up the life he knew and chose to live for Jesus. He chose to walk in light and help others know the Jesus he knew. He had his thorn in the flesh, something that he wanted to rid his life of, but he knew that God’s grace was sufficient.
When Jesus revealed Himself to me, I admit I was scared. In fact, I walked away from Him and denied Him that first time. He kept after me, calling to me, desiring me. One day, I’d had enough of darkness, and I opened my heart to His light, His love….to Him. Needless to say, it hasn’t been all mountaintop experiences since that day 11 years ago. However, whatever my thorn in the flesh has been, I have learned that God’s grace is sufficient for me. Whether it was sick children, job changes, lack of finances to pay bills, deployment, miscarriage, or anger, God was there for me. He walked beside me when I needed it. He pushed me when I needed it. He held me in His everlasting arms when I needed it. He has covered me in grace and mercy. He has given me strength.
I’ll be the first to admit that being a Christian is scary. Sometimes we are fearful, but I do have to remind myself that God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear. That comes from Satan. When God calls me to do something, He will prepare me for it. So many people choose not to serve Christ because of fear. If that’s the case, we will all be pew warmers and there would be no discipleship.
When we hear God calling, whether it is that first time that he is convicting of us of our sin or calling us to teach a class or go on a mission trip, we have to truly believe, and not doubt, that He will prepare us, He will guide us, He will be there with us.
As a Jesus lover, I choose to follow Him…..every single day. Yes, there will be days I totally blow it. I will embarrass Him. I will not spend time with Him like I should. But…..Here’s where He redeems me. He will open His arms to me and say, “I know. I am not surprised by your imperfections. I know you better than you know yourself. After all, I did create you. Regardless of your flaws, I love you and I can and will use you. You need only be still and trust Me.”
That’s what I choose. I choose to trust Him and live for Him every day, not just Sundays. I am committed to Him. And you know???? I owe it to Him. I owe Him my praise, my worship, my thankfulness, my life. It’s that whole John 3:16 thing….For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
And that is where I go from here….serving Christ. Living for Him. Devoting my life to Him. Where do you go from here?