This Sunday is the day we set aside to celebrate Easter. As with most of our holidays that have real significance, we will tend to minimize it to an Easter egg hunt, new clothes, and family dinner. Easter Sunday is a worthy celebration for what it really is. The empty tomb is the symbol that death is defeated. Jesus alive! The empty tomb is the icon that points to an opportunity to live forever. It is a symbol that spiritual death has been defeated.
Truth be told, our physical resurrection is a foregone conclusion. According to the Scriptures, never in doubt. One day, we will all be resurrected to stand before the judgement seat of Christ “that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad”. – II Corinthians 5:10. The fact of our physical resurrection – and that of Jesus – was set in motion from the beginning. The resurrection itself, however, is not the gift.
Friday is the day that made all the difference. We place our focus on the cross more than the empty tomb because it is on the cross that Jesus Christ did the life-changing work. It was as He drew his final breath on the cross that Jesus said, “It is Finished”. The work He came to accomplish was complete, at that moment. Jesus, through His physical death on the cross, provided the path for us to be able to stand before God and be looked upon as righteous. The penalty for those things I’ve done in the body that are bad, was paid through the shed blood and broken body of Christ.
My eternal destiny, and yours, hangs in the balance depending on our response to Friday’s work. Do we believe that our sin has separated us from God, and that only through faith in the work of Jesus Christ can we be reconciled back to God? Are we willing to surrender our own desires, preferences, and wills to follow the good & perfect will of the God who offers us eternal life?
Jesus provided us another example of resurrection. During His time of ministry, one of His miraculous signs was to raise his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. After several days in the tomb, Jesus called Lazarus forth, and he breathed again. This resurrection, though, was not the gift of eternal life for Lazarus. He lived physically only to die physically again. This was a symbol to help us recognize that our physical resurrection isn’t the assurance, isn’t the source of our hope. But it is a reality, a certainty.
What happens at the judgment seat of Christ, after our resurrection, depends on our response to Friday’s work. Friday is the day when the road to avoiding eternal spiritual death was made available. This is why followers of Christ “resolve to know nothing. . . except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. – I Corinthians 2:2. My desire, more than anything else, is for you to be reconciled to God. Will you believe – truly believe, to the point of allowing it to be life-changing – in the One who gave His life for you?
The next time you utter the phrase, “Thank God it’s Friday”, it is my hope that you will reflect on why Friday is truly a day to thank God for. If you have not yet made an affirmative response to the work Christ did on your behalf, it would be my profound pleasure to engage in dialogue with you. It is a difficult topic, but anything life-changing is worth the time & energy to pursue.