A fundamental foundation for Christian believers is commemorated on Easter Sunday (John 11:24-26). Jesus Christ’s resurrection follows 40 days of reflection, atonement, sacrifices and fasting that began on Ash Wednesday.
As I mentioned in the first “From My Perspective” column, I was raised Jewish, so this time of year my family would be celebrating Passover. There are many overlaps between these two holidays, which can be seen in The Old (Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) and New Testaments, the old and new covenants. All four gospels agree that Jesus died before Friday nightfall, the Jewish Sabbath, and the crucifixion was at the time of Passover (Matthew 28:1, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31). God freed the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, “passing over” their bloodidentified houses (Exodus 12:7,12-13) and Jesus has freed believers from their sin. Israelites eat the sacrificial lamb at Passover seder and Jesus is called The Lamb of God (John 1:29 & 36) and we know He was sacrificed.
When I decided in December 2018 that I would give my life to follow Jesus, I had no concept of where that decision would lead me. I heard a pastor say “Go all in,” and realized the Holy Spirit was telling me to choose walking the light as He is in the light (1John 1:17). During this process of sanctification, I’m choosing to surrender, a willingness to serve Him, with absolute obedience and dependence, whatever He asks and wherever that may take me. His will be done!
This will include enduring trials to glorify Him! It could result in the end of friendships of the past, being scorned and excluded, having officials take me into custody to be judged and beaten (Mark 13:9). My prayer is for boldness, refusing to bow down and suffer the persecution, not that I’m proud to be a martyr, but that I am humbled by My Lord. Apostle Paul, while imprisoned in Rome, wrote the Church in Philippi; “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). With God’s presence, when my faith sustains me in the fire, my faith will be on fire!
God’s grace has given us salvation through the gift of His Son. He died for us without our deserving it or being able to earn it. Because of His great love for us, God, rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5,8).
Are you ready for God’s grace and mercy? Will you decide to choose Him on Easter Sunday? This resurrection power is a doorway to life. His lovingkindness is everlasting! His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). Join in the joyous celebration of our Lord, whom gives us eternal life (1Peter 1:3-9).
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I close, in the fruit of the spirit given to all believers: peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).