EDITOR'S NOTE: Every day from Ash Wednesday until Resurrection Sunday, we'll bring you one devotional from our archives about Easter, the miraculous joy of the Resurrection, confronting our guilt, or the resulting spread of God's Church. Check back every morning as you thank the Lord for His gift of victory over sin and death!
Easter: All That Matters vs. All I Live For
by Shawn McEvoy, Salem Web Network Director of Editorial
He has risen, just as He said.
Matthew 28:6, NIV
What would I ever do if someone I knew came back from the dead? Especially if he had said he would, and if he had spent a couple nights in a grave already?
Seriously, what would I do? What would you do? Wouldn't I blab to everyone I know - and most people I don't - about this miraculous event? Heck, I tell everyone when I'm feeling under the weather or when I saw a good movie.
Then factor in that the same guy was now telling us that because of what he had done, none of the rest of us would ever have to suffer death. What's more, simply by believing what we had seen, no matter our background, history, race, or education, we could restore our long-lost connection with the Almighty, and live forever.
Man... unfortunately, I'm having a hard time conceiving what I would do. Or, even if I can conceive it, I can't quite believe it, because honestly, I have seen this, I do believe this, and yet my daily reaction to it doesn't exactly line up with The Acts of the Apostles.
Has the news of a resurrected savior really become passe?
Why don't I want to read Acts?
What am I afraid of?
That I'll be rejected?
(He who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 4:8)).
That I won't be powerful enough?
(God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7)).
That the good news isn't relevant enough?
Salvation and the message of the resurrection, the miracle of born again-ness, is a salve to all wounds.
This Easter I'll join choruses like "He's Alive" while pondering and praising the miracle, but when it comes time for the next day of my life to begin, a day and a life that means nothing if not lived for my Savior, it'll be all about me again and my troubles and making my way and who cut me off and what I have to get done and who I don't like and what can we complain about today.
I want this Easter to be real. Because I did see it happen (so to speak; the resulting spread of those who ran to the corners of the earth to tell the story with no regard for personal safety is traceable to this day), it is real, and I'm cheating life and people God loves if I'm not shouting those facts from every corner and rooftop I can find. Everything else is just window dressing; "Christian living" is often just how we pass all our extra time in this country where so many of our basic needs are so easily met, and where we can cordon ourselves off from each other. What matters in life?
- That there is life, and...
- how it came about that there might never be death, but...
- there are still dead men walking.
Really, why else are we here if not to keep excitedly shouting the truth of the miracle as if we'd just experienced it with our own eyes yesterday?
Intersecting Faith & Life: For the longest time, I've felt a leading in my heart to launch out into a complete study of the book of Acts, something I've never fully done. For some reason, I continue to put it off. But in my quest this year to make Easter real, I'm beginning a study of what those who witnessed the resurrection couldn't keep themselves from going out and doing. Care to join me?