One of the most beautiful times as a Christian is on Easter Sunday when the whole congregation sings beautiful and strong all the songs of hope, redemption, glory, and amazing grace. He is Risen! The three most beautiful words in all the world.
He. is. Risen.
This morning there was a really large choir and a brass band and an uber-talented worship leader and my tears and my joy knew no containment. My troubles, eclipsed. My hope, new. I wanted nothing because I had everything.
Then our family got back into the van and trouble resurfaced and not five hours later, life felt heavy again and I was reminded of what hope means. Hope looks forward. If you want hope, go to Him who is the author of hope.
Congregating with the faithful who are one in Him, our voices rising in unison, our breasts swelling with the breath of Life, singing about His glory and amazing grace...it's as close as it gets to heaven on earth, for me.
When we look for hope on earth we will be disappointed. Too much pain, anguish, hate, disorder, disease, and ugliness. Hope lies within, looking forward to that time when there will be no more sorrow, no more pain.
Revelation 21:3-5 (about end times and the new heaven and the new earth, after this, the "first things" have passed away.)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."
Thank you for the cross and for your precious Son, through which you secured our place in heaven, to live in glory with you forever. Thank you for the hope they have both wrought in our hearts and lives. Thank you for the glimpses you give us here of the new heaven and the new earth. Thank you for the mercy and grace you provide daily that eclipse our pain and suffering. Thank you for the glory of God, and may it shine through us daily. Thank you for our family and friends, who each are gifts from you. Thank you for the most powerful words ever uttered: "It is finished" and "He is Risen!" We love you!
In Jesus' name I pray,
"It Is Finished"
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Some very famous learned men set out to prove that the Resurrection was a hoax. They studied and studied, but they only found irrefutable evidence that the Lord Jesus rose again. Instead of writing a famous paper that would settle the account once and for all, they gave their lives to Jesus Christ.
God, who makes no mistakes, knew that there needed to be irrefutable evidence of the Resurrection.
If you don't yet know if it's true, I invite you to read about the evidence.