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Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

Let’s read the Easter story from Matthew 28:1-8. Easter is a powerful story of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us – and it also reveals to us that:

  • “it was impossible for Jesus to be held by the power of death” – Acts 2:24
  • Jesus had “the power of an indestructible life”- Hebrews 7:16
  • It is true what Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” – John 11:25
  • Jesus really is “the first and the last and the living one” – Revelation 1:17-18

But today I want us to look a bit behind the scenes of Easter at the one who sent Jesus to die for our sins and to be raised for our salvation. I want us to look at what Easter reveals to us about God. Specifically five things that Easter teaches us about God’s deep love for us.

1. God’s love for us is from eternity

God is the one who planned Easter before time began. God loved us before we even existed.

  • In Acts 2:23 Peter tells us that Jesus’ death and resurrection happened “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”
  • Acts 4:28 says that Jesus’ death and resurrection was what God’s “plan had predestined to take place.”
  • Paul tells us that God gave us of his grace “in Christ Jesus before the ages began” – 2 Timothy 1:9.

This was no afterthought on God’s part. He loved us from the beginning of time.

2. God’s love takes the initiative

He worked throughout the course of history calling Abraham, the children of Israel and the prophets. And when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman. (Galatians 4:4).

God wasn’t sitting back waiting for us to get it straight. God didn’t wait for us to come seeking salvation. While we were busy sinning, pursing our own lusts, without a thought for God – that’s when God acted in love for us.

God saw it as our weakness and had mercy on us. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:6.

1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God . . .” we were in rebellion against God, “but that he loved us and sent his Son” to die for us. That’s what love is. He took the initiative.

3. God’s love includes his enemies

Paul says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” – Romans 5:8.

He also says, “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” – Romans 5:10.

Aren’t you glad that God isn’t like us? When we have enemies we want to harm them and make them pay. We want eye for an eye! Justice! We should be glad because we were God’s enemies and yet God loved us nonetheless.

4. God’s love found a way

It must have seemed hopeless. We were held in the power of our sins, given over to the powers of Satan, Death and judgment. And these said, “God you can’t just let them go free! They are rightfully ours! You can’t be righteous and not punish them!”

But God found a way. He knew that Satan and the powers of evil and judgment would hate Jesus. He used their lust for violence and hatred against them.

For when they crucified and killed an innocent Jesus they were exposed as evil and themselves came under judgment. And so they no longer have a right to us – providing us the chance to escape.

If the powers had only understood what was going on, in Paul’s words, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” – 1 Corinthians 2:8. This is just one more instance of how God “catches the wise in their craftiness” – I Corinthians 3:19.

He went to all this trouble out of love for us. He overcame Satan and the power Death to save us.

5. God’s love is sacrificial

Love requires giving, sometimes sacrificially. God’s love for us cost him dearly. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” – John 3:16.

God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” – Romans 8:32.

No cost was an obstacle to give us his love. Not even the suffering and death of his only Son.

When I step back and look at all this I have to say, how can you not receive this love?

How can you refuse the:

  • God who loved you from before time itself
  • God who loved you enough to seek you out when you didn’t care about him
  • God who loved you when you were his enemy
  • God whose love found a way to rescue you from an impossible situation
  • God who spared no cost to save you

Open your heart and receive of this love.

William Higgins

 

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