The last day of Lent

This is the day that I look back and sigh. What were those resolutions I had for Lent? One related to eating better. I type with the remains of Easter cake samples under my fingers – too many samples. It reminds me that this is the day that the disciples sat in horror, despair, fear. Jesus was dead. Truly dead. Yes, really, dead. But He was the Messiah…what was all that about the Kingdom of heaven coming soon? A dark Sabbath. No hope for the next week or month or year. They put everything on this guy. And now they were running for broke. No, it was worse. They had put everything on what God was doing through this Man, who they believed was His Son – if that can be fathomed. And where was God after four hundred years. Was it as stale as the Pharisees said, all rules? Who was this Jesus?

It was just 50 days later that Peter stood in front of a crowd and threw away all caution. He was thrown in prison within a few weeks, and somehow got out. Everything was in an uproar. Jesus had risen.

It is still creating an uproar today. Because this world is not everything. We are not mistakes of a freak of nature waiting to die. There is hope you never dreamed of hoping for.

Another resolution was to examine the Nazarene Articles of Faith and use them to spur an examination of my own study of doctrine. I come away knowing that I have only begun these conversations that will last a lifetime. Any time I think I have grasped something about God, I start to worry. Because if God is small enough for me to understand, He’s not God (I tend to forget that on a regular basis).

The final Article is XVI. Resurrection, Judgement, and Destiny. It has no Scripture references provided, so I went digging.

Jesus is coming back, and everyone will rise from the dead. (Acts 24, Hebrews 9)

Everyone will stand before God to be judged for what they have done (it actually matters!). (Matthew 12, 1 Peter 3, Revelation 20).

There are two options: everlasting life spent with God, or everlasting punishment spent away from God. (Daniel 12, Philippians 3, Acts 13, 1 John 5).

Where am I spending my life right now?

Who will Jesus find faithful when He returns? Jesus asked that, almost wistfully, I think, in Luke 18. It comes at the end of a parable. A widow – unsupported, a free radical in society with nothing to lose – will not stop petitioning a judge. And the judge got tired of her. So why do we, I, stop looking to God for help who has shown over and over that He loves us to crazy extents? Don’t give up!

And Jesus never gave up on us, even though His friends deserted Him, men killed Him out of jealousy, and no one believed that He was actually coming back from the dead. But He did. And He’s coming back again. You have a destiny that goes beyond this year, this job, these problems. And we can choose to spend the time with God, or away from Him, starting today.

Jesus rose. We have hope. And God offers us love. God, let me be found faithful. Thank You for overcoming all odds, all fears and faults! Help me look beyond today. Amen.

God bless your Easter; He is Risen!

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