Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Day! He did it! It is finished! Hallelujah.
Did anyone else cry through the Easter program this morning at church? Geeze, what a story. During the program at IBEM (Iglesia Bautista Evangelica de Macoris) one church member performed a monologue as the woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11). She talked about how she had definitely messed up and how according to the law she deserved death. She talked about how the religious leaders wanted to condemn her, to judge her, to punish her. She talked about how Jesus didn’t want to do any of those things. She talked about how Jesus set her free. From condemnation, from judgement, from punishment, and from the mistakes and past choices that were weighing her down.
Glennon Doyle Melton said this on Facebook this morning:
Alongside sisters all over the world this morning and on the shoulders of our ancient sisters (SHOUT OUT TO MARY MAGDALENE, Joanna, Mary of James and the others) who this morning visited the tomb and found nothing: I proclaim:
THE TOMB IS EMPTY! HE IS RISEN! And so YOU-YES, YOU – LISTEN! That place you visit every day- your tomb- that place of hopelessness- your pain, your addiction, your past: THERE IS NOTHING THERE! Your hopelessness is empty! STOP VISITING! WHY DO YOU LOOK FOR THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?? YOU HAVE RISEN: YOU ARE ALIVE! YOU ARE A BRAND NEW THING!!!!! LIVE! LIVE LIVE LIVE!
This morning when I bowed my head in my chair at my church I thought about our great need. Because we are a mess, aren’t we? We kill each other and say mean things about each other. We kill ourselves and say mean things about ourselves! We can’t even get it right when it’s just us! We exclude and put up walls and ignore hurting people and fill up our lives with junk and fluff. I mean, right? Is there anyone who’s looking around them right now on Facebook or at the grocery store saying, “We’ve got this being human thing, down. We’re totally great!”? Is anyone saying that? Because when I look around I see a lot of beauty yes, but I also see a lot of brokenness.
I tell my students all the time, “You have a choice. You choose your consequences. If you want stickers and all of your recess time, you have to choose to obey. If you want no stickers and no recess and no play time, you are free to choose to disobey.” Well the same is true for us, for everyone. We have a choice. If we want lives full of deep-seated peace and relationships full of forgiveness and intimacy and growth and authenticity, we have to choose Jesus. We have to. Because without Him and outside of Him none of that good stuff exists. Of course we are free to choose the selfish way. The lonely way. The hard way. We can choose to stay broken.
Salvation is a one time thing. You declare your belief in your brokenness and need and you just as boldly declare your belief in a Jesus who saves and you’re adopted into His family right away for forever. But sanctification is a lifelong process of healing and restoring. Every day we have a choice. To participate in sanctification or to stay broken.
But without this day, without Jesus, without resurrection, we don’t get a choice. Without Jesus we stay broken and dead forever. Without Jesus there is no peace, no forgiveness, no true intimacy, no growth, no authenticity. Without Jesus there is no good stuff.
So He did it! He came! He died. He rose again. It is finished. And now we get to choose. For once and for all and then every day. Today I choose Jesus. I choose restoration. I choose hope. I choose life.