Originally posted on Cindi Gale: What is the purpose of his death and resurrection? It’s not only about Easter Sunday, it is the gift that keeps on giving. He did it for us to be his. For us to be adopted, to be heirs to his throne, heirs of his kingdom. Not just in heaven one…
28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into…
It’s easy to say, “Don’t be afraid” of the global Covid-19 spread. It’s more difficult to maintain a state of trust when its effects have reached your life. Parents are scrambling to find daycare with school closures. People have lost their sole sources of incomes while their work places are closed or staffing significantly reduced. Life savings invested in businesses or in stocks are reducing by the hour.
And these things are just a few of the peripheral effects of the Coronavirus. The fear is real for people who have no health insurance; with compromised, chronic health issues; who care for children or adults with those issues; or are older adults. We know the virus is directly more threatening to those demographics.
It’s not that I haven’t been impacted personally, because I have. I empathise with those who are experiencing fear, but I have not felt it myself. I think…
Easter Sunday is less than three weeks away. What is represents was never meant to be a one-day observation, but the gift that keeps on giving.
What was the purpose of Jesus’s death and resurrection? He did it for us to be his. For us to be adopted, to be heirs to his throne, heirs of his kingdom.
Not just in heaven one day, but on Earth as well. Now. Know the truth of it. Know the power of it.
The power of his resurrection. It is power to heal, to create, to know, to understand. Not all things, as only God does, but as much as he is willing to trust us with. As much as we are willing to pursue and become consecrated for. As much as we stay determined to believe in, regardless the delays and events transpiring that appear contrary to who he is.
My favorite part of “The Chronicles of Narnia” series is the love between Lucy and Aslan.
He is the depiction of Jesus. And of God. He is massive. Powerful. Immutable. His ferocity is frightening to others.
But not to Lucy. She loves him. She buries her face in the beautiful silkiness of his mane, riding high over the mountains of Narnia. Death is certain should she fall, but she is undaunted. Settled on his broad shoulders, her fists clutch that golden mane. Because it is Aslan that carries her, Lucy is carefree.
His frame is strong. Unwavering. Secure. Unassailable. He never falters. Never misleads her. Never abandons her. He never lowers her to earth anywhere short of stable, sheltered ground.
He is insulating. He speaks to her softly, words rich in wisdom. All at once, his heart a blend of tenderness, intensity, and protectiveness. In there also, his own pain.
And so she loves him.
An excerpt of their reunion, from “Prince Caspian”: The Return to Narnia …
And then—oh joy! For he was there: the huge Lion, shining white in the moonlight, with his huge black shadow underneath him.
But for the movement of his tail he might have been a stone lion, but Lucy never thought of that. She never stopped to think whether he was a friendly lion or not. She rushed to him. She felt her heart would burst if she lost a moment. And the next thing she knew was that she was kissing him and putting her arms as far round his neck as she could and burying her face in the beautiful rich silkiness of his mane.
The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath came all round her. She gazed up into the large wise face.
“Welcome, child,” he said.
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
An unprecedented number of Americans are declining to participate in organized religion. (See “America’s Changing Religious Landscape”, Pew Research Center, link below.)
Is it any wonder that people are rejecting church attendance, given the last decade’s convergence of religion and politics in a large sector of American Christianity? Why would people be drawn to religion when what they know about church (and therefore think of God) is what they witness on public platforms? Why would anyone be drawn to God when people who claim to represent him think and behave as they do?
To you who are understandably and rightfully turned off from this growing branch of American Christianity …
I wish you knew that “those people” are nothing like God.
I wish you knew that unrighteous people sometimes affiliate with a religious institution for selfish agendas and personal gain, not to worship God.
I wish you knew unscrupulous people sometimes exploit religion as a cover to control others, to shut them down with handpicked, out-of-context scriptures.
I wish you knew this usury has gone on since biblical days, and that Jesus had harsh words for people such as these. The sinless, ever-loving son of God wasn’t all sweetness and acceptance — while he gave “sinners” a pass, he boldly confronted hard-hearted, legalistic believers, calling them “you brood of vipers”, “snakes”, and “sons of Satan”.
Many of these religious people own the podium today — they pursued their platform and got what they wanted. Their numbers have swelled, and with it their sense of confidence and correctness. We hear from them regularly that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong.
This segment of Christianity has positioned themselves as the door through which everyone else must pass to access God — they have formed a united front to separate others from the love of God
For those of you observing it all, know this:
All Christians are not the same.
It’s not only non-Christians those people condemn, they also reject Christians who don’t conform to their beliefs. There are many who are alarmed and appalled at it. It was much different before politics insidiously infiltrated our churches. Services used to be about honoring God. In many churches it has become “us” verses “them”, and “right” verses “left”. Anger- and arrogant-tinged monologue that used to be considered wrong is now applauded.
There are many exceptions, to be sure. Many churches and individuals have not been swept into this trend; they have resisted conforming to a contaminated amalgam of theology, agendas, pride, politics, and appetite for power. I know many, many people who have attended their churches for decades, some for their whole lives; they and their churches have not changed. They are busy living life and making positive, genuine contributions to the world.
Another thing you should know:
God has not changed.
For those who have run the other way from Christianity, I wish you knew the immeasurable loss of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”. Throw out the contaminated water of fraudulent religion, but don’t throw out God with it.
I wish you knew that God offers to be your lifeline, your air, your shelter, your sustenance.
I wish you knew you don’t have to go through “those people”. Humans are not the gatekeepers to God, regardless their claims, demands, or puffed-up display of authority.
The truth is …
No person or thing can separate anyone from the love of God.
Romans 8: 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked…
In America at this time in history, countless people have formed their stances based on two offerings: Option A or Option B. They founded their lives upon their selections, such as:
Republican or Democrat
pro-white or pro-people of color
traditional values or nontraditional
familiar or unfamiliar
nationalism or internationalism
power or weakness
religious or secular
predator or prey
oppressor or oppressed
us versus them
They failed to even realize they could have said no. They lacked the wisdom to decline the choices as posed to them. They should have known that something much better — something supreme — is available to found their lives upon.
People failed to realize they could just choose God. Christians failed to realize it.
People who claim to be Christian, but chose an alternative to God, turned their backs on Him. Once the substitute was in their committed grasp, they quickly took on the qualities of their chosen alternative.
How did God get overlooked by so many self-proclaimed Christians? How have so many come to be deceived, believing themselves aligned with God when in truth they rejected Him long ago?
The veil has been removed from the Church, and it is evident who, like the Pharisees of old, chose godless options over God.
Conversely, people who do actually know God, who always choose God, recognized and rejected the decoys and lures. They refused the substitutes.
People’s hearts are now on display for all to see. It is evident who chose Christ as their sole foundation. He alone is the rock upon which they stand. From that solid grounding comes knowledge of truth, certainly of right and wrong, and eminence of character and strength.
That strength is drastically different than the exhibition of violence that happened in the USA on January 6, 2021.
Strength from those whose feet are embedded in the solid rock of Christ is immovable, unflappable, impenetrable. A person who has himself or herself been refined in the fires by God, is strong like a crucible, a vessel capable of enduring and holding hot, melting ores, a person capable of keeping their composure in even densely concentrated evil. As a crucible is strong, they are strong. They hold firm; they defend correctness, they don’t attack it.
People whose feet seek the solid rock of Christ, who embed those feet on the foundation of God alone, resemble God himself. They are planted in the Lord, oaks of righteousness for the display of His splendor. They are vessels of His qualities, including:
A light to expose darkness
God is the definition of rectitude, and anyone truly founded in God alone becomes the definition of rectitude as well.
1: the quality or state of being straight
2: moral integrity: righteousness
3: the quality or state of being correct in judgment or procedure
Synonyms & Antonyms of rectitude
conduct that conforms to an accepted standard of right and wrong