I thank God that He's given us reason to commemorate and to celebrate His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. I heard on the radio once by Pastor Alistair Begg, my go-to preaching during my thirty-minute drive home from work, that of all people, Christians should be known for their "pahrr-tees." Aside from my utter amusement at his pronunciation, I agree that we have the biggest reason to celebrate! Jesus loved us so much that He came to finish all sacrifices required to buy us back from death and to give us LIFE- a life to be lived to the full with Him (John 10:10).
Why am I so confident that this is true? Why am I so confident that Jesus rose from the dead? Because there would be absolutely no reason to party if it weren't true! As in the words of Apostle Paul:
"Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied" 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (NASB).I also know that someday He will come again in His full regalia and glory, and everyone will know as obvious as the sea is deep and the mountains are tall, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is Lord!
So, this Lenten season, may I suggest that you and I not only give up sweets or meat? May I challenge us that we GIVE UP our confidence in ourselves, in what we can do, or can reason? And GAIN life that is eternal through Christ Jesus!
"But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus" Ephesians 2:4-6 (NLT).
New American Standard Version, New Living Translation: Biblegateway.com.
Van Gogh, Vincent. Still Life with Mackerels, Lemons, and Tomatoes. From FamousPainters.org.