For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. – Romans 1:19-20
Everything, everything, everything screams “Jesus!” I’m no biblical scholar and I’ve never been to seminary, but I love the Bible and have studied it for years on my own (that is what every Christian does, right?). Even to a lay person like me, it is blatantly obvious. From the first days of creation to the one boat in a worldwide flood to the blood sacrifice at Jewish Passover to the kings and prophets – the Bible is all about Jesus Christ the Messiah. It is no wonder Jesus is called the Word (see John 1:1, 14, Luke 24:27 and Rev. 19:13), he is the Bible with skin on.
If you think the display of who Christ is and what he has done is limited to Scripture you are very mistaken. Today I want to shift your attention to what God is declaring in the world all around you. He is NOT done talking about his son. Jesus is too wonderful to be held to one large volume of print. Jesus is too great to be limited to preaching on Sundays and small groups on Wednesdays. Jesus is too powerful to be regulated, governed or managed. And praise God that he is!
Not only has God determined that his Son should be declared in all of the good ways listed above but also that his qualities should be clearly seen through what he has made (see Romans 1:20 above!). The entire Universe screams “Jesus!” just like everything else. How? Let’s look at two very simple ways.
…BUT first, two important points for us to keep in mind. 1 - No creation is divine, no creation is a part of God. Creation is a way that God displays his attributes, but creation does not contain God. That is called “pantheism” and is heresy. 2 – The way that God reveals himself to us in a personal way will always be his Word, the Bible. Hearing or reading the gospel is what brings us to a saving faith in Jesus, not pretty clouds or majestic mountains. These things cause us to praise God but not know him. Guard your hearts, Ladies. Now let’s continue…
Spring is here and we love it. It is the topic of conversation and it changes how we spend our days. We long to be outside…experiencing what? Experiencing this re-birth of our earth! What was dead is coming to life again. We see trees budding, flowers stretching and brown landscapes turning bright green. Creation is acting differently - the birds are chirping, the fish are biting, and the kids are running. There is a resurrection happening all around us, are you noticing?
God allows a time of increased darkness, cold, and barrenness then follows it with a warming that thaws the earth and awakens what has been “asleep”. This stirs something in us because it is supposed to. It is another display of what Jesus did in dying for us under the wrath of his Father while paying the penalty of our sins. He was dead in the grave for a time, yet death could not keep him. He rose again to life and now radiates a beauty and perfection that we can enjoy (if we are believers). We bask in the goodness of our Savior, like we do the beauty of good spring weather.
This regeneration period for the earth begins when the earth’s position shifts in relation to the sun. Our day/night cycles are also regulated by our position to the sun. Why the sun? Because of the S-O-N. Just as each season is a reminder of the resurrection of our Savior so is each and every sunrise. Moving from darkness to light is one of the primary analogies used in the Bible (see the book of John). Jesus himself said, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12). Why would God not make this evident to us every day we breathe? Psalm 19:2 says, “Day to day pours out speech,” and that this voice “goes through all the earth,” (v. 4). It is worldwide reminder of Jesus, day after day.
Spring and sunrises –comparisons to the resurrection of Jesus - could it be that simple? Yes! As Romans 1:19 says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.” God has kept it simple, we don’t have to wonder or look far. Just take notice and give praise.
If you think this is silliness, you may fall under Romans 1:18 which speaks of those “who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Be careful that you are not denying the obvious truth right in front of your face with every sunrise and new season that comes. For the wrath of God is revealed to those who take that position (v. 18). For the rest of us we gladly see it and rejoice in it. We are among those who “live by faith” (Romans 1:17) and “are not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
This Sunday we celebrate Easter. We will attend egg hunts, church services, and family gatherings. These events are fine, but do we realize the true immensity of what we are celebrating?
Easter is a holy holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death to life, but how many of us are living as if he is still dead? Do our lives reflect the power of his triumph over sin and death?
This man who was called Jesus lived on this same earth nearly 2000 years ago. He was sinless and perfect because he truly was the Son of God. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.
He fulfilled the prophesies of the Old Testament, he was the waited for Messiah. He came to love and to show us how to love. He healed, taught and proclaimed the coming Kingdom of God. Yet the more he loved the more he was hated by the religious rulers of the time. They cared more for their rules, traditions and order than for the truth.
They tried many times to capture Jesus, but he evaded them because it was not yet his hour. Finally, the time had come. Jesus had been eating with his disciples in the upper room, teaching them, washing their feet and preparing them for what was to take place. Jesus led them to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. What did he pray for? For himself, for his disciples, and for you and me. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you were on his lips that night, read John chapter 17.
The mob came for him, a band of soldiers and officers of the priests ready for a fight carrying “lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’” John 18:3-4. When told they were there for Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus replied, “’I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:7. This detachment of trained soldiers with swords in hand could not even stand in the presence of this holy man Jesus, the power of his word was too much for them to even stay on their feet.
Jesus gave himself up in obedience to the mission given him by his Father. They bound the Son of God and led him off to be judged. After a bogus trial where he was actually found innocent, the Pharisees stirred up the crowd to demand his crucifixion. Pilate finally relented, valuing his physical life over his eternal one.
Jesus suffered greatly as he was ridiculed, tortured, whipped and finally raised above the crowd upon a cross. Held to rough wood by large metal stakes driven through his flesh. He hung, he bled, he died. Why? For you. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” - Isaiah 53:5
There was no other way. Sin has to be paid for, the price is death. We sin, we die, separated from a holy God forever who cannot tolerate sin in his presence. What hope do we have then? Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus is our hope, our only way (John 14:6). Jesus stepped in to take our place and died for us. A sinless, perfect sacrifice bearing the wrath of God against the sin of the people, our sin. That was his mission on earth, to pay your penalty and redeem you to be his own.
The lifeless body of Christ was laid in a tomb and sealed, but nothing has power over God. Not soldiers, ropes, a cross, or a sealed tomb. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day just as he told his followers he would. He defeated death and remains alive today and forever.
This is why we celebrate; we have hope of eternal life through Jesus if we accept what he did for us on the cross and fully surrender to his kingship in our lives. This event of death and resurrection was witnessed by hundreds and is recorded in all four gospels: Matthew 27 and 28, Mark 15 and 16, Luke 23 and 24 and John 19 and 20. Don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself. Read it to your children!
The tomb is still empty today; don’t live as if Jesus is still there. He remains alive and is seated at the right hand of his Father God (Luke 22:69). Are you living as if Jesus is King and has full authority? If we belong to God, our lives should reflect this truth.
Happy Easter, I enCOURAGE you to truly celebrate Jesus this weekend. We can be full of hope because the tomb is completely empty!