Monday, April 09, 2007

Friday and Sunday

Though I was away from computers all weekend (blessed thought!), I couldn't let Easter pass without putting up a post about the glory we celebrated yesterday, the hope we have every day. And in light of the emphasis I have often placed on being "cross-centered," I thought this post from (who else?) Mark Lauterbach, entitled "Cross-Centered? or Resurrection-Centered?", was a helpful, poignant clarification:
...neither the death on the cross nor the resurrection are good news in themselves . . . but they are inseparable, as explain each other. Without the resurrection, the entire Christian movement would not have started. Jesus would have been another failed Messianic pretender killed by the powers that be for daring to defy Rome and Orthodoxy. Without the cross, the resurrection would have simply been a wonder, as someone emerges from the grave. But together they are the Gospel -- the One who was cruelly and unjustly murdered in the most humiliating way imaginable has been raised.

All our rejoicing on Sunday morning is empty, meaningless, without the darkness of Friday afternooon:
    • He who was given bitter wine of wrath to drink has offered us the cup of salvation
    • He was a lamb silent before his accusers, that he might be a lamb sacrificed for sinners
    • He was weakened and wounded so we might be healed
    • He was made naked who clothes us in his righteousness
    • He was stripped of all possessions that he might make us rich
    • He was mocked so that he might bless us
    • He would not come down from the cross to save himself – he would remain on the cross to save us all.
    • He would not roll up the sleeve on his mighty arm to destroy the temple – he would die in weakness to make a new way of access to God.
    • They mocked him as King and lifted him up on the cross – and he was enthroned upon it as Savior of all.
    • Jesus Christ took the shame we deserve so we can have the glory of God forever.
      --Mark Lauterbach, GospelDrivenLife
And yet to wallow in the ugly horrors of Friday without celebrating the gift of Sunday morning is foolishness. The cross was not the end of the story--it was a gloriously unexpected beginning!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:3-5).

No comments: