Over the last 40 days leading up to Easter, we journeyed and labored towards the Cross with Jesus, looking deep within the dark caverns of our soul, begging the Lord to painstakingly search us for every sin stained thought, word and action; constantly reminding ourselves of our desperate need for a Savior. The emotional rollercoaster of Lent prepared our hearts and minds for the spiritual high and victorious triumph that we would finally experience on Easter Sunday when Jesus would conquer sin and death for good! Truly, it is FINISHED!
Hard to beat that kind of emotional experience, right?
Now that the sun has set on Easter Sunday, what will Monday morning bring?
All the Easter eggs have been colored, Easter baskets have been emptied, the egg hunts have ended, the loot has been counted and the candy comas have ensued; while the last of the Easter grass has been swept up and thrown away. After all the holiday traditions and celebrations have ceased, will the Resurrection continue into the “Monday after” or will it be put up on the Easter shelf in the attic to collect dust until next year?
In our world today, it seems like we can talk about catastrophes and atrocities for hours on end, we can debate politics and slander leaders for countless hours on our Facebook feeds and we can celebrate our national championships with fist bumps and victory dances all day long, without tiring. But, when it comes to the Easter miracle that would literally save humanity from eternal damnation, we are quick to put the conversation to bed after the last Peep has been enjoyed.
As Believers in Christ’s death and resurrection, “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you”(Romans 8:11, NIV). I don’t know about you but I think that is definitely something to celebrate and continue the conversation about! We idolize celebrities and professional athletes for their “super power” capabilities yet we forget and all too often marginalize the fact that we have the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us and that the living Christ has infused us with the same Resurrection power that emptied the tomb on Easter Sunday! I’m not sure there are enough “hearts,” emoticons, “likes,” tweets or shares to do this truth justice.
In 1 Peter it is written, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the death, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5, NIV).
We have the responsibility as Christ’s church to go far beyond confessing with our mouths that we believe. It is not enough to give the saving power, transformative nature and hope of the Gospel, lip service. As followers and ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we are required to put feet to our faith and live in the fullness of Christ’s resurrection!
Resurrection, Rebirth, Rejuvenation, Restoration, Transformation, HOPE!
These words are not limited to Lent and Easter Sunday. These themes should penetrate every fabric of our being, they should flood every circumstance we face and should determine every decision we have to make.
Christ’s victory on Easter Sunday does NOT end at sunset on Sunday. Jesus defeated death! Jesus conquered the grave! Forever. Period. Amen!
We cannot crawl back into our own tombs; enslaved by fear, shackled to complacency and married to the bondage of this world! We serve a living God who has called us to be vessels of a LIVING HOPE, conduits to a broken world who so desperately needs to know of our LIVING SAVIOR whose body was broken on a rugged cross, whose precious blood was shed to cover all of our sins, past, present and future, who breathed his last to unlock our tombs that would allow us to live freely and fearlessly as a result of his resurrection power over eternal death.
Jesus’ last breath on the cross was our first breath into a newly resurrected life in Christ.
So, how can we make Monday matter?
My prayer for you and for me as we begin our post Easter journeys on this Monday morning.
“Heavenly Father, keep the precious blood of your son’s broken body on the cross, fresh in our minds and raw on our hearts; allowing it to permeate into every part of our lives and to drench our souls. Lord, help us to fully embrace our newly resurrected lives in Christ and make us bold ambassadors of the Gospel, in thought, word and deed. Precious Jesus, strengthen us with your resurrection power, use our lives for Kingdom work and let our callings be fresh and our purposes be renewed with each new breath. We pray Father that our Lenten transformations will take flight beyond the temporary of this world. We pray that our hearts will remain on fire for you and that we will share the Good News with all that we come in contact with and set their souls ablaze for you and your Kingdom.
Risen Jesus, wake us up! Do not allow Monday to lull our spirits to sleep! Keep us alert, refresh our weary souls with your living Word and infuse our spirits with the power of your resurrection so we can minister to those in this world who desperately need to experience reconciliation and resurrection. Father, we are called to take up our cross daily and by dying to self, we will gain our lives in You. Please give us more of you and less of ourselves. Help us live in reckless obedience to our Father in Heaven and live a fully reconciled and resurrected life in submission to your Son Jesus. Make our next steps be all about you Jesus and your Father’s Kingdom work.
Help us make Monday matter.
Precious blood of Jesus, continue to crucify our sinful nature so we may live cruciformed in your name each and every day. Saturate our days with Resurrection and show us how to take Easter off of the attic shelf and incorporate its TRUTH into the very air we breathe. We love you Jesus, we thank you for saving our wretched, unworthy souls and covering us in your grace and showering us with your unending mercies. It is in your Son’s most precious name Jesus, we pray”
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