Bloody cross, empty tomb

I recently found myself in the middle of a very strange conversation with a very educated doctor when the conversation moved to our faith. Of course the most common approach is to assert the viability of every belief, as long as it’s sincere. But after many months of walking with a loved one through illness and the possibility of death, the stakes felt higher. “Everybody believes in something,” he said. “But what is the basis of that belief?” was my question. And then I said it.

My faith is rooted in a bloody cross and an empty tomb.

It was a strong moment. Months later I’m still chewing on the implications of this truth. As we move into resurrection weekend, I’m asking the question afresh: what does this mean?

It means the Judge has judged.

It means sickness is judged by the cross. Bigotry is judged by the cross. War is judged by the cross. Child slavery is judged by the cross. Rape is judged by the cross. Fear is judged by the cross. Oppression is judged by the cross. Sin is judged by the cross. My sin, my pride, my hypocrisy, my deceit, my selfishness are judged on a bloody cross.

It means the King has risen.

It means light beats darkness. It means life beats death. It means justice beats evil. It means cancer is going to bow. It means molestations will be no more. It means poverty is losing its grip. It means racism’s days are numbered.

It means all things will become new.

It means the stories your believing mama told you have to be taken seriously. It means God hears prayers. It means you can break addictions. It means you can be free. It means your family can be restored. It means you are going to make it.

Because if He can beat death, He can beat anything.

It means you’re not defined by your worst mistake. It means you really can be forgiven. It means God’s grace is stronger than your sin. It means God’s goodness trumps your badness. It means God’s capacity to fix you up is infinitely greater than your capacity to screw you up.

It means your story may have horrible chapters, but you have to read it to the end, because when God is the Author, the story always ends well.

It means there is more hope for you than you thought possible, because the very worst this world can throw at you is death. And Jesus beat it. Which means death may take you from this world, but Jesus will take you from death.

Which means you don’t have to be afraid of anything. Ever. Again.

So turn in your pen, stop trying to force your own script, and let Jesus be your Author, resurrection, and life.

Arise.

So great a salvation

Do not neglect so great a salvation. (Hebrews 2:3)

There is so much debate regarding the possibility – or impossibility – of losing salvation. But the far more practical danger is neglecting salvation. Oh to live in the reality and the fullness of this great salvation.

Indeed there is a salvation-like promise to drugs and porn and fame and fortune and a thousand other little god-substitutes. But they always break their promises.

So great a salvation is altogether unique.

Pardom from all guilt. Forgiveness of all sin. Full atonement. Fresh start. New nature. New name. New covenant. New spirit. New heart. New eyes. New ears. New creation. New birth. One day he will make all things new.

So great a salvation.

Healing from sickness. Comfort in brokenness. Power to overcome. Strength for the journey. Joy inexpressible. Peace inexplicable. Access to the Father. Innocence that we long for. Love that we were made for. An inheritance without compare. A seat in heavenly places. Angels to protect us. A kingdom that cannot be shaken. Freedom, authority, purpose, destiny, hope, and a future.

Do not neglect so great a salvation.

Stir up your gifts, develop your talents, discover your place, and do your deal. Set your mind on things above, number your days, refuse to waste your life, and go. Having been loved, love. Having been served, serve. Having been forgiven, forgive. Having been reached, reach. Having been rescued, rescue. Having been changed, change.

Maybe we should do less talk about joining a movement, and just go move something. In the name of the author of so great a salvation. Jesus.