Then he said to them “Don’t you remember the words that I spoke to you when I was still with you? I told you that everything written about me would be fulfilled, including all the prophecies from the law of Moses through the Psalms and the writings of the prophets -- that they would all find their fulfillment.” He supernaturally unlocked their understanding to receive the revelation of the Scriptures, then said to them, “Everything that has happened fulfills what was prophesied of me. Christ, the Messiah, was destined to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. Now you must go into all the nations and preach repentance and forgiveness of sins so that they will turn to me. Start right here in Jerusalem. For you are my witnesses and have seen for yourselves all that has transpired. And I will send the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to you. So stay here in the city until the mighty power of heaven falls upon you and wraps around you.” -- Luke 24:44-49 (TPT)
To be perfectly honest, reading about the crucifixion brings me to tears.
Every single time.
Part of me grieves the torment and shame my Savior endured for me.
In those last hours, we read that He was whipped, beaten, and bruised.
Jesus suffered lashes from a glass shard-covered whip, as well as a crown of thorns thrust down on His head, piercing His skin, before His hands and feet were nailed to a wooden cross.
And what’s incredible to me: it was Jesus who took our place.
I’m absolutely undone by the great lengths our God would go through to redeem.
To redeem me.
And you. And everyone on the earth.
It is, without a doubt, the greatest act of love to grace all of eternity.
And I pray that myself or anyone reading this devotional would never discount or become used to this miracle, of our Creator who’s also our Savior.
For when Jesus was nailed to the cross, so were our mistakes and sins and shortcomings and failures and anything and everything else separating us from our Heavenly Father.
And while our Jesus rose on the third day, our sins were won over, once and for all.
We were adopted, without pretense or condition, into the Heavenly family our God has longed for us to rejoin since the beginning of time.
We’re made clean, pure, without blemish.
White as snow.
Free to step into our identities as sons and daughters of the one, tTrue God.
Free to make mistakes, for God’s grace and goodness never fails.
Free to chase after Jesus with all that we have, all that we are.
When He was resurrected, so were we.
For our God is a promise-keeping God.
We look to the very beginning of Genesis and see that He’d been promising the world a Savior for hundreds and hundreds of years.
He promised a Son, who would be born, but also given. And He’d be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting God and Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6).
God did not disappoint.
Our Jesus took the world, not by storm, but by love and truth.
He wrecked religious boxes and social norms to bring Heaven to earth.
And He climbed up on that cross so as to forever tear the veil separating us.
God kept His Word.
The greatest love story the world has ever known.
And it doesn’t stop there!!
After His resurrection, Jesus returned to His disciples.
Not to remain on earth, but rather to commission these men and women to become His hands and feet, ministering to the nations and peoples all across the globe.
And this sending out isn’t confined only to these Jesus followers, within these pages only.
We’re called today.
Each and every one of us.
You’re seen and loved, and God wants to partner with you to show the world around you that they’re seen and loved, too.
We’re made for more.
And this is the more: adventuring with Jesus all the days of our lives.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said ‘Here am I. Send me!’ (Isaiah 6:8).
1. What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for you? Why?
2. Is there any part of Jesus’ journey (from birth to the cross) that strikes you differently this Easter season? If so, what is it?
Thank You, God, that You had a plan all along, from the beginning of time, to redeem us. I thank You for Your son, Jesus. For His life and His death, and His resurrection. I thank You that through death, You brought us back to life. I thank You that I no longer need to run and hide from You when I make a mistake. But instead, grace beckons me ever closer to You. I pray that I would never get used to Your awe-inspiring, never-ending, reckless love for me. And I pray that as this Easter season draws to a close, You’d pour out a greater wisdom and revelation of the cross, so that I may begin to tell the world of what You’ve done for us. I’m ready for adventure!! I love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.