Last week was a roller coaster of emotions for me as we made our way through another Holy Week.
On the one hand, I confessed that Good Friday is one of the most awkward days of the church calendar.
Its hard to know what to say when confronted with the reality of Jesus' cross. Words fail to capture the immensity of that moment. Besides it seems strange to be excited that Jesus died, and yet as Jesus Himself said, "the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again." (Mark 8:31) It had to happen in order for us to be saved, but I still feel awkward being happy about it. Do you feel the same way?
On the other hand, Sunday I confessed the opposite. Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! We announced, "Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!"
Whereas Friday is awkward and words seem inappropriate, Sunday is completely different. When I consider the implications of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, I just can't stop talking about it. There are never enough words to explain and relate all the benefits that are ours through faith, or all of the sad things that are coming untrue because of Jesus' resurrection from the dead.
I highlighted three benefits; three sad things coming untrue as taught by the Heidelberg Catechism (a tool we use to teach the Christian faith - it covers the apostles' creed, baptism and the Lord's Supper, the ten commandments, and the prayer Jesus taught us to pray sometimes referred to as the Lord's Prayer). Those three benefits are: righteousness; Christ's righteousness which is imputed to us through faith, new life; the new life we have because the Holy Spirit is alive in us and we are already being made new, and resurrection; not simply Jesus' resurrection, but also the assurance of our own resurrection after we die.
I admit that these three benefits are all amazing, but this year the hope of the resurrection struck me most. Since my dad died 6 months ago last Sunday, the hope of his resurrection through faith has brought me and my family comfort and has given us peace. That has been the goodness of the good news that has impacted me most this year.
So what about you? What benefit of Jesus' resurrection from the dead means the most to you?
How will you complete this sentence: "Because Jesus rose from the dead I have ..."?
I invite you to share your own testimonies that we might encourage one another as journey together along the way ...