How is your life going? If you are still working, a lot has changed in how your workday goes. If you are not working, your day may feel endless, or maybe you’re getting some home projects done or taken up new hobbies. As a writer, my days are the same as always in many ways, but the confinement is noticeable. I live in a remote and wooded area so I can get out on these spring days and enjoy the sun and warm after a wet and cold winter. But this is not what I want to blog. There are many experts on COVID-19, and I am not one of them. My blog is a break from all that!
This is what Christians call Holy Week, and this year is going to have quite a twist to it! Celebrating the Last Supper from our livingroom by Livestream, Good Friday is another day off work, and Easter will have us taking communion at home with our idea of the elements. Family get-togethers will be by Zoom. With all the distractions, useful as they may be, taken out of the celebration and the frivolous Easter outfit selection and the hiding of Easter Eggs, maybe we can focus on Jesus this year and all that He accomplished for us. I think what we morphed Easter into is all a distraction of what is most important about Easter. It was the event that split history in half. The mission of Christ was accomplished not just for the few that witnessed it, but for all eternity. I think that’s a big deal that should have our total attention.
What exactly did Jesus accomplish on the cross? What did He mean when He said in a loud voice from the cross, “It is finished!” I think a lot more than we have given that phrase credit.
Easter is my favorite holiday. Not because of the usual ways we celebrate, but the hymns that we sing or at least used to sing in the traditional services. Hymns like “He Lives,” “Up from the Grave,” and “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!” There is such a feeling of victory in those songs. We really need that today!
Remember, in my last post; we talked about the fall and how it not only affected Adam and Eve but all of the generations to come, including the whole Earth? As Gene Edwards put it when generations before Christ’s sacrifice got up each morning, they only had one choice on how to live. They lived an earthly life according to their decisions for the day. They made sacrifices at the Temple and walked away redeemed until they sinned again, and we know how that can go. It was a constant effort to stay right with God, and only the High Priest could talk directly to God because only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies where God met with them. It was in the Holy of Holies that heaven and earth intersected. Even before the High Priest entered this holiest place, he had to make atonement for his sins, known and unknown. Atonement for sin meant sacrificing an animal because it took a blood sacrifice to atone for sin.
On the cross, Jesus took the weight of all the sins we could ever commit, known or unknown, and when He was nailed to the cross, so were they. Do you ever look at yourself or your life and feel shame or discontentment? Nailed to the cross. No more need to beat yourself up! Do you ever feel hopeless or like you hate yourself? Nailed to the cross! Do you have regrets or temptations that seem out of control that are costing you too much money or too many relationships? Nailed to the cross!
I think we all know that, but we don’t live in the life it should have provided for us. Jesus says, as Graham Cooke puts it, “give that to me, it’s mine, I paid for it.” Remember the Ten Commandments? That list of rules on how to get along with God and man, and it never worked for us? We are too selfish and lazy to fulfill those. Jesus fulfilled them for us. It used to be only the High Priest could talk to God directly and only once a year. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” The four-inch-thick curtain separating man from
God tore, and the Holy of Holies opened to all. All that is very exciting, but the most exciting thing happens three days later when Jesus proves He is from God, not dust of the earth like Adam and reversed everything that had happened when Adam sinned! EVERYTHING!
Now we can go directly to God anytime we want or need to. We can accept what Jesus accomplished for us and receive his forgiveness because our sins are on the cross. Sure we still have some habits that are hard to overcome, but at Pentecost, some 40 days after the resurrection, God sent His Holy Spirit to live among us and in us. That, too, changed everything! Heaven and earth would now intersect in believers! Christian believers are the Temple of the Holy Spirit! Four Temples had been built before Jesus’s death. About forty years after Jesus’ death, the last Temple would be destroyed, and a new one was never built.
Today we can walk in union with God as Adam did. As Gene Edwards said, when we get up in the morning, we can live by human life or Spirit Life. We have a choice. God no longer sees anything wrong with believers He only sees what is missing and what is missing is our understanding of all we have in Christ!
That’s where I’m at right now! I’m trying to understand what all I have since Jesus nailed all my sins to the cross and gave me the gift of Eternal Life. I want to know what is missing in this walk with the Spirit that I sometimes remember to choose each day. As a temple of the Holy Spirit, I want my life to reflect God to those I meet each day. Jesus prayed as recorded in John 17 that He would be in us, and we would be in Him. What does that mean? How do I live in Christ? How do I live a life that glorifies all that Jesus has done for me so that others are drawn to know more about Jesus? I want to get up in the morning and choose to walk with the Spirit every day, not just when I remember. I want it to be natural. I want it to be a relationship!