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Recovering the rest of Easter

For years, I was frustrated by Easter. All the talk about 'new life,' and 'hope' in Christ seemed rather vague. I could agree that we'd find that new life in the future .. when we go to heaven. I could also agree that we'll have hope ... someday. And this kind of news will bring you joy .. for a little while; until you lose your job, or come down with cancer, or can't recover from depression, or the other collective stressors that rob us of life-in- the-now.

Part of the problem is how we talk about Easter. For one, we usually talk about it in terms of the Cross and its forgiveness, and have only a vague sense that the Resurrection will bring us hope, one day, when Jesus brings the Kingdom to its fullness.

Sadly, we've short-changed the Resurrection by placing its benefits only in the future. If all we are is forgiven and waiting until heaven, what a hopeless life that is. But in fact, we are far more than forgiven: we are offered restoration even this day. That recovery of life is more than we've been told. As Francis Schaeffer says, we are offered substantial restoration, substantial healing of our hearts, substantial healing of relationships. We are offered wholeness. Not complete wholeness, for that waits for the coming return of the King; but substantial and meaningful wholeness - a very present restoration.

Where there is death and decay - in relationships, in our bodies, in our breaking hearts - there is an offer of life. "Those that have the Son have the life" now, not simply 'later.' We take our place in his Resurrection daily. It is ours, now. We are bound to his unshakeable life. Not just later, but now.

"I have come that they might have an overflow of life." What kind of God would make you that promise and then withhold it only for 'later?' - Not our God who comes for our hearts even now.
Happy Easter.

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