Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. John 11:25-26 (NLT)
It’s been a strange kind of week. I believe that every day this week I’ve had a conversation with someone that had brought me back to Jesus’ death and resurrection and who he actually died for. Let me explain.
There were two conversations where two separate young women didn’t want to introduce their boyfriends to their families because when they showed them a picture of them the family made derogatory comments indicating the person might be bad.
There were a few conversations where people struggled to forgive someone for something they had done recently and/or in the distant past.
Each time as I thought through these, I kept hearing the word Resurrection. And then again when I was reading about poverty and the negative impact it has on folks, the word Resurrection kept popping into my mind.
I wish I could sit here and say I don’t ever judge people by their outward appearance. I can’t say that. I wish I could say I don’t judge people by their actions. I can’t say that. I wish I did more to help those in need. I am praying about all these things. But, here is what I do know.
When Jesus said ANYONE, he meant ANYONE. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what you do for a living, whether you are rich or poor, what specific religion you are, your stellar or checkered past or if you are a Democrat or a Republican (a little humor for the Americans). None of it matters because Jesus died for all of us. Every. Single. Last. One.
As we celebrate what the Resurrection truly means, let’s remember he died for everyone, even if we don’t think they measure up.
Father God, teach our hearts to see everyone as you see them. Remove our blinders and open our minds. Let us feel the unconditional love you felt that day on the cross. In Jesus Name, Amen
— Elaine Kapetanakis (thought4theday.com)
He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. Romans 4:25 (NLT)
This past weekend in church the Pastor asked “How many of you have had God do something great for you?” I raised my hand. I started thinking about my prayers and the answers I’d received. Then, I thought about my outstanding prayers – the prayers without answers still.
How about you? Has God done anything great for you lately? Take a minute…think about it.
As I was thinking through this, the Pastor said “Well Jesus died for you. Wasn’t that great?” We all should have raised our hands. Made me think. As Christians maybe we take the death, life and resurrection of Jesus for granted. After all, to be a Christian you have to check that box. Then you can say, “I’m a believer.”
There is so much more to it than that. Does it make a difference in our lives? Do we realize what a gift we’ve been given? Do we live like people who were on death row and were given a pardon? Do we live like people that are loved beyond more than we can ask or imagine?
My prayer this Easter season is that as we look once again at the GREAT thing God did for us, we become changed. We become a people who always raise our hands, jump up and down and shout Hallelujah whenever we can especially because no matter what our recent answers to prayer are, the greatest thing God did for us happened over 2000 years ago. Let’s not forget.
–Elaine Kapetanakis (thought4theday.com)