On this Good Friday, it would be natural to find yourself reflecting upon the death of Jesus and the Sunday of His glorious resurrection. It is challenging, however, to try and fathom what it might have been like to be a disciple of Jesus in those days. They risked everything to follow Him, yet must have felt like their hope died that day as their friend hung on a rugged cross. I am acutely aware of the confusion and dismay that must have enveloped those who believed Jesus was the Son of God, yet watched as he was crucified a common thief. It was at the cross where all seemed to be lost. Have you ever felt like that? Maybe today that thought resonates with you also. Loss. Confusion. I think at one time we have all experienced these emotions, however the Easter story, our story, does not conclude at the cross… for the loss of the cross would become the power of the resurrection.
Over the years I have found it true that God works in mysterious ways. We may not always have the answers to questions that life brings. Whether it be the death of a dream or the end of a season, we will all go through times of loss and heartache. The world itself is in a season of confusion – loss and heartache. All around us there is a paradox of a healthy church flourishing and a sick world dying. Though our circumstances may sometimes be challenging and uncertain, because of the resurrection of Jesus, our faith can remain – He is our Messiah and King. In Him we have security and everlasting hope. What may seem like an end, is only a beginning for God.
Romans 6:6-11 says, “… what we believe is this: if we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in His life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, He took sin down with Him, but alive He brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.”
Centuries ago, on this very Friday, Jesus carried the weight of every human’s sin, shame and failure as He laid His life down on the cross. We know now that the story does not finish at the cross – God was up to something MORE. On that first Easter the angel declared with great confidence, “He is not here; He has risen!” This weekend we will echo the angel’s great pronouncement as we celebrate our risen Saviour and all that His life represents and means so dearly to us.
What needs resurrecting in your life? What loss can Jesus redeem? What confusion can He clarify? I believe with all my heart that this Easter could be defining as we gather to celebrate that the cross had the final word. What was an empty grave now represents fullness of life, grace, salvation, peace, passion and purpose – for you.
Join with us to celebrate our Risen King, and may your Easter be one emptied of death, fear and uncertainty and full of HIM.
Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston // Hillsong Church