Jesus had a way of showing up in the midst of crisis and make what seemed to be the end just the beginning. Today we celebrate this hope in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. The subject of resurrection was nothing new to Jesus. Remember Lazarus? (see John 11). Jesus had been told Lazarus is sick, so he waited. A good friend… waiting… the ability to heal? This seemed very odd. When Jesus finally arrives, Lazarus has been dead four days. Four days of waiting is significant due to the popular Jewish teaching of the day that the soul would hover over and around the body for three days. In waiting four days Jesus removes any doubt that Lazarus is dead. It seemed like the end for everyone, except Jesus. Upon arriving on the scene Jesus tells Martha, the sister of Lazarus that her brother would live again. Martha, knowing her Old Testament, relays that she knows he will on the last day (John 11:24), but Jesus says something that is shocking and turns what seems to be an end into a beginning.
Jesus says in v.25:
Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Jesus then shows he has the power to make this statement by calling Lazarus from the tomb. All of Jesus identity hangs in the balance. If Lazarus doesn’t come out, then Jesus is a fake. But, if Lazarus does come out, they are standing in the presence of man who can rightfully claim to be the Messiah sent from God to take away the sins of the world. Lazarus’ end becomes a new beginning for him and legions of others who today realize not only what Jesus did this man, but celebrate the fact that Jesus conquered death in rising from the grave. Jesus now changes the equation of the end. Due to the resurrection of Christ, what people think is the natural end is only the beginning. If you have trusted in Christ, you now enter this new reality by faith in Christ. If you join with millions of others who place their hope that God will accept you on behalf of Jesus’ death burial and resurrection for your sins, you have the hope of a new beginning too.
Jesus has a way of making what seems to be the end just the beginning. This dynamic has shown itself true in my life. When I got to the end of myself and trusted in Jesus alone to pay for my sins, I found a beginning. This new beginning for me colors everything about who I am today. Simply put, I am a follower of Christ. This does not mean I am perfect (like Christ was/is), but it says I would like to be. When I fall short of this ideal (which is practically all of the time) the grace of God views my imperfections through the obedience of Jesus and His grace gently disciplines me in love. It is at those times I, again, find what should be an end but, due to the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, is only another beginning.
May you meditate on these truths and find your joy centered in Him this Easter!