“Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
If this is where our story ended, we would be living a very different kind of life. Death would have the final word. Where would our hope be? Dead. Where would our joy be? Dead. We would stand at a crossroads that offered nothing but a dead end.
Thanks be to God! This is not where our story ends. This is just the beginning. God can do that; take what seems like an ending and make it entirely new. God does that! What a miracle of a relentless love that is so amazing, so divine!
“He is not here; for he has been raised.” Matthew 28:6
Our story is not over. Now, the future is filled with hope! Death does not get the final word. God, in Christ Jesus, has the final word and it is a word of life. Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!
What seemed like a certain ending has been redeemed and transformed into: a new beginning. Thanks be to God!
We are an Easter people, which means that every day we know that the ending is not an ending. We know the ending is just the beginning. The new life and new hope that we celebrate on Easter morning is the same new life and the same new hope that we live with every single day of our lives. All because of God’s amazing grace given in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Depending on when you read this, you may be in the midst of the first statement: death. The days of Holy Week bring us from that death to life. It begins on Palm Sunday with shouts of triumph and joy and moves to Maundy Thursday when we recall that Jesus ate with the disciples [even knowing the betrayal that would come] and then gave the great gift of Holy Communion to the church, all while teaching God’s new commandment of loving and serving. On Good Friday we are led to the foot of the cross and weep with those who love Jesus. And then on the third day, we awake to the mystery of God’s amazing love. We awake to the power of grace. Death does not get the final word! Death is swallowed up in victory! We awake to an end that is actually a beginning. And, that is all because of God’s relentless and redeeming love.
Endings that are really beginnings, death that is actually life, and lost hope that is anything but lost: these are all the power of a God who loves with relentless purpose.
A relentless purpose that changes everything. We are Easter people because of God’s relentless love. A relentless love that relentlessly bestows victory over sin, death, and the evil one. A relentless love that is an Easter miracle for every day of your life because Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! Thanks be to God!
My dear friends in Christ, I anticipate worship with you this Holy Week and Easter morn with great humility and joy. Together, we have walked this Lenten journey to rediscover God’s relentless pursuit of love and grace. Together, we are relentlessly pursuing God’s future with great hope. God is up to amazing things at Zion! What a reason for hope and rejoicing. I thank God for you and for the joy of serving as your pastor. May you know the sweet truth of God’s relentless love and grace for you each and every day! Thanks be to God!