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Reversing the Irreversible

Here we are on the eve of the weekend of the greatest event in history—Jesus reversing the irreversible as He stepped out of the tomb with His resurrected body still bearing the scars of crucifixion.

And, yet, many people ask, So what?  Isn’t the resurrection of Jesus just part of an ancient religious story akin to the dogmas of other faiths?  Even for those who believe Jesus rose from the dead, connecting that event with our current reality may seem a chasm too wide to cross. 

You go to work.  You pay bills.  You try to be a good husband, wife, son or daughter.  You enjoy sports, hiking, fishing, or crochet.  Day after day turns into week after week and year after year.  Life trudges forward, as your hair thins, or your hips expand.  For all of your life you’ve heard the Easter refrain, “He is risen!  He is risen indeed!”  But then Monday comes, the Easter baskets are put away for another year, and it’s back to business as usual.

But what if?  What if this Easter were different?  What if you decided that enough is enough?  What if you declared that somehow, someway you were going to grab hold of this life-changing power that comes through the Resurrected Christ?  And what if that power really changed you making you an agent of change? 

The English author Malcolm Muggeridge once wrote that “Jesus audaciously abolished death, transforming it from a door that slammed into one that opened to whoever knocked.”  Maybe the reason you tend to wander more than wonder is that you hear the story of the resurrection, but you’re not really hearing it.  You stand before the door of transforming power, but you fail to knock. 

This year, I ask you to do one thing: knock.  Knock boldly, persistently (Luke 18:1-8), humbly, yet confidently, knowing that the One who stepped through the doorway is willing to open the door to all who believe.  Not only is this promise for reversing the irreversibility of death; it is also for reversing the irreversibility of all things in life that have a hold over you. 

When you say, “I can’t.”  God says, “I can.”  When you say, “I’m weak.”  God says, “I’m strong.”  When you say, “My marriage (faith, hope, job) is at a dead end.”  God says, “I can reverse the irreversible.  I proved it when I walked out of that grave.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer answered the “so what” question regarding Jesus’ resurrection.  Before he was led away to his execution by Hitler’s regime, he wrote, “From the resurrection of Christ . . . a new and purifying wind can blow through our present world . . . If only a few people believed that and acted on it in their daily lives, a great deal would be changed.”

Believe it.  Live it.  Set your sails to catch that new and purifying wind and be an agent of change in your world. 

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

Easter – The Day Our World Changed Forever

Here we are in the final countdown (and this time I’m not referring to March Madness). Maundy Thursday—commemorating Jesus washing His disciples’ feet and sharing the Last Supper (John 13:1-30), Good Friday—remembering Jesus’s arrest, trials, and crucifixion (Luke 22:39-23:56), and Easter—celebrating Jesus rising from the dead (Matthew 28:1-10). There have never been three more life-changing, history-altering, and world-transforming events.

I want to ask an obvious question that people in a post-Christian culture raise that many Christians might take for granted. SO WHAT? Even if Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection actually happened, what difference does it make? The world is still the world. Our lives are still our lives. Our jobs, families, homes, and activities are still present. And many people find themselves “just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round” (John Lennon).

If Jesus did rise from the dead, why is the world still a mess? Why do people still get cancer? Why do children still die? Why do marriages still split up, people still get robbed, and terrorists still attack?

This is very important, so I hope you will read all the way to the end. Jesus’s resurrection doesn’t solve all the world’s problems . . . for now. But it does solve the dilemma of what to do while we are in the midst of those problems.

Imagine you are in a dark room with no windows or doors. The air is stifling hot, and it seems like you’re suffocating. You feel along the paint-chipped walls, searching for a way out to no avail. You know you’re going to die, trapped in that room of no answers, no solutions, and no hope.

All of sudden, you hear a click. You turn your face in the direction of the sound, and you see a slight crack with light shimmering through. As you look more closely you realize that where there was only a wall, a door has now appeared, and a small radiance of light is penetrating the surrounding darkness.

What do you do? People have told you your entire life that the light does not exist. This room is all there is. Nothingness lies beyond the room. Therefore, you are taught to do your best to find your way around in the darkness and discover your own sense of meaning, purpose, and happiness.

Is it possible that the door is real and that light is penetrating the darkness, even though most of the room is still covered in a canopy of black? If you believe the door exists and the light is real, you now come to two very important realizations: (1) You have a way out. And (2) Light overcomes the darkness. The light has not destroyed all the darkness in the moment. But as the door opens wider, more light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).

This is the hope of the resurrection. It’s “otherworldly” in that we know there’s a reality of life beyond the room (our world). But it’s also very much for this world in that the light gradually, slowly, overcomes the room’s darkness.

We are not to be so heavenly minded that we do no earthly good. Nor are we to be so earthly minded that we have no heavenly hope. The resurrection is the bridge to the life that is to come from the life that is. Our living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3) is not just that we will escape the trials and travails of this world. Our hope is that the resurrection power of Jesus triumphs over the trials and travails of this world. Ultimately, we are promised a “new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), but until that time comes, let’s keep widening the door so that more light—the light of the Resurrected One—will penetrate the darkness of our world.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

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