Happy Easter, friends!
Today is the day that makes me who I am. It defines everything about my life and my eternity.
The hope that fuels my every breath was birthed on this day when our King stepped out of the tomb and overcame death.
He brought victory, put an end to shame, resurrected freedom and abolished sin on this very day.
We so often speak of the cross-and don't mistake me-I'm incredibly thankful for the cross.
The cross was the bridge to life.
But today, I am thankful for the barren tomb. The one where Jesus' body laid for 3 days until He made Himself known and present before two women.
Two women who yearned for Him, ached for Him, cherished and missed Him.
...and trusted Him.
This year, I have seen myself in them.
I have ached for the risen God.
Not religion. Not a book, or a belief.
I have needed so much more.
And on every 'Friday' when I felt like my Jesus had died with my very own fears, failures and doubt...
Somehow He showed up for me on 'Sunday.'
Faithfully revealing Himself each and every time as the God who overcomes.
This is my Jesus.
My Savior, My redeemer, My victor, My lover, My Father, My friend.
Easter has sparked controversy all over the world and in the past couple of years, especially on the internet. Here's what I want to make clear today:
Religion causes alot of mix up and chaos. Religion is the reason for many wars, hatred and disagreement.
But Jesus is not the God of religion.
In fact, Jesus went to the cross in spite of it. He suffered because of it.
He also defied it at all costs.
Remember when He healed on the Sabbath? The religious folks were appalled and disgusted.
Remember when He destroyed the temple? The religious people couldn't understand.
Our Jesus is not like this world. He doesn't get confused by the legalism that is taking place but He probably isn't impressed by it either. He isn't thrown off guard when the church is too asleep to do it's job. He isn't shaken when people mislead other people in His name.
He might be offended by it, though. After all, He was human and He shared emotions true to the human spirit.
Let's not pretend that things are perfect in the religious communities.
Let's be honest here: they are the same as they have always been.
Confused, misled, misguided, selfish, legalistic and self righteous.
Even in the days of Jesus[and before]we are told that things were equally as chaotic.
But religion aside, Jesus got it right.
He died so that we don't have to be part of any of that. He died so that we can rest in the sweet assurance that there is a Heaven, created for you and I.
And we can be free in that promise.
I pray on this Easter Sunday you can feel the resurrection as peace. I pray that you can set aside your 'religious' ideas and enter into a lasting, personal relationship with a God who is alive.
I pray that today you would feel the Holy Spirit wash over you in a powerful, life changing way.
Whether you celebrate in a temple, a church, or at home...
Whether it be ceremonial, personal or communal...
Just know that God cares less about how you worship Him
and more about whether you do.
"And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him."