From Top to Bottom
Easter encourages us to focus on two unbelievable truths. First, Jesus died for us, to erase our sins. Not just for the sins of yesterday, not only for the sins of today, but also for the sins of tomorrow—sins we haven't even thought of yet. It brings us indescribable peace to know God doesn't see our sins when He looks at us. He doesn't remember our sins when He thinks of us. They are not only forgiven, they're forgotten, removed as far as the east is from the west.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Second, Jesus is alive! The power of God raised His Son from the grave to reign with Him forever. The same power will give us new life, to live with Him forever. The hard days in this life are softened by the hope—the firm expectation—of eternal life with Jesus. Death is not the end for us—a new life is waiting. A final breath on earth, a new breath in Heaven. The ups and downs of this life, a new life of continuous praise and joy.
But, in between the peace of today and the hope for tomorrow, is a miraculous event that's often overlooked.
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
In between the peace of forgiveness and the hope of eternal life lie the riches of relationship. In between the work of Christ on the cross and the power of the resurrection lie the gift of Companionship.
Before the resurrection, a curtain separated God from man. Only once a year, with strict ritual, could a man—one man, the High Priest—approach God. Only once a year were the prayers of God's people taken to the throne of God. The other 364 days of the year were spent in a relationship with the Law, not in a relationship with God.
And then the curtain was torn. At that moment, rituals were replaced with freedom. The freedom for every believer to approach God, every day. The Law was replaced by a Guide who would walk beside us and teach us to live for Him. An unapproachable God was replaced by a Friend who loves us more than we can imagine.
Even more amazing is the fact that the curtain was torn from top to bottom. Our relationship with God cannot be achieved by our struggles. We would have to work to tear the heavy curtain, one thread at a time, from the bottom to the top. We would never have the determination or the strength and, in spite of our efforts, the barrier would remain.
God's desire to have a relationship with us tore through the curtain as though it were thin gauze He tore it from the top to the bottom to show us that His power alone can rip away the barriers and that His love alone can call us to Him.
Cherish the peace, cling to the hope, revel in the relationship. Your life with God does not begin when you step into eternity. It begins now.
December 2011: On the Road Again
November 2011: It's All in the Voice
October 2011: Asked and Answered
September 2011: The Grass is Greener
August 2011: May I help you?
July 2011: Peeling Pinecones
May 2011: The Beauty of God's Gift
March 2011: Lessons Learned--Again
December 2010: The Joy of Giving
November 2010: Heritage
October 2010: But...
September 2010: School Days
August 2010: The Dog Days of Summer
July 2010: Hunker Down
June 2010: The Eagle Has Landed
May 2010: Call on the Lord
April 2010: Rejoice!
March 2010: Water Your Faith
February 2010: The Imagination of a Child
January 2010: Abundant Blessings
December 2009: Don't Forget Me!
November 2009: Knit 1, Purl 1
October 2009: Be still and know that I am God ~~Psalm 46:10