After …  

                                        

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for He who promised is faithful.”            - Hebrews 10:23

  The season of Lent is closing behind us and here we are at Holy Week. We are looking directly at the cross now, and then comes the tomb with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus bringing Jesus’ crucified body to that place, late, Good Friday afternoon, just before the Sabbath began. Soon, very soon, this tomb would take a turn that would reveal the fulfillment of the first fruits promise of Christ Himself but also the prophets of old - “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name, beginning from Jerusalem.”- Luke 24:46. The Gospel promise of salvation for all humankind, eternal life with the Father and the Son has been fulfilled. Yes! Jesus would be the first fruits of that promise and by His death and resurrection we are saved from eternal death and will be raised anew, like Him. And, it is all because of God’s wonderful love and grace for us.

Lent is wonderful time of the year. During this time we are continually reminded and brought face to face with God’s plan for us. What causes you to remember, even “after” the season? Today, while in the car, I saw 3 rugged-wooden crosses together on a hill by the roadside. A cross, something so long ago constructed by Roman hands for cruelty and today a symbol of our Christian belief. Such an odd thing, don’t you think? Strange, that a tool of torture would come to embody a movement of hope, sure hope. Its design could not be simpler, one beam horizontal, the other vertical. One reaches out as if they were arms of God’s love bringing us in to Him like a mother hen gathers her young chicks. The other reaches up, as does God’s holiness, but, at the same time, also reaches down to us with that same love and holiness. One represents the width of His love; the other, in both directions, the height of His holiness and the depth of His loving reach. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave His children without lowering His standards. The cross is where God treated His Son as a sinner in our place, so that He could make us acceptable to God.* And what about that empty tomb, the reflection of the cross, it is the climatic peak of God’s love for us for it is where God assures us of eternity with Him.

And after it’s all over? What about then? Does Jesus stop holding us? Does that hope fade away into the obscurity? Oh, we may let go, true. But Jesus never let’s go. He even calls us to proclaim that Good News to a hurting world that so much needs Him. So go, beloved and proclaim the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ our risen Lord! He who promised is indeed faithful.

Today and everyday … “He has risen! He has risen indeed! Alleluia!

ptl

 

* Paraphrased from He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado

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