Not a wooden cross

Not a wooden cross, but the Man who chose the cross.

This is the reason for Easter.

Not the empty tomb, but the Man who walked out of the tomb.

This is the reason for Easter.

Not a memorial, but a surprise return.

This is the reason for Easter.

Not object or place, but the God who walked among us, died by our hands, and got His own heart beating, His own lungs breathing three days later . . and still wanted to save us.

This is the reason for Easter.

Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. (2 Corinthians 5:14b-15, NLT)

Published in: on April 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More than just remembering

Easter is more than just remembering.

It’s acting on what it means if a Man really had the power to raise Himself back to life and walk out of a tomb.

“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (Jesus, quoted in John 12:32, NLT)


But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11, NIV)

Yankees Stadium, summertime, hotdogs, and binoculars.

Sitting in the bleachers, sun beating down on my head, Yankees jersey and visor (because I look really bad in ball caps), I was as involved as I possibly could be.  Refusing to leave my hard and uncomfortable seat for even a moment during the game, I glued my eyes on every play, screaming with every other Yankee fan loading up the stadium, only trying to make my screams sound less like a hummingbird and more like an experienced fan.

It was my first Yankees game in the real stadium.

I’d been to Kansas City before for a game.  But that wasn’t the same.  For one thing, the crowd (of Royals’ fans, though there were an amazing number of Yankee fans) kept cheering when the Yankees got an out.  I did not like that very much.

In Yankee stadium, nobody dares to yell for the other team.

It is dan-ger-ous.

Before my Kansas City trip, I’d never seen the Yankees in person before.  But I sure had watched them on TV.  And if my screams (and sometimes sobs) could have been heard across channel waves, I am sure I would have gotten a MVF (Most Valuable Fan).  I loved, I cherished the Yankees.  I defended them in conversations (and growing up in the midwest, yeah, there were going to be problems), and I grew into less and less of a fair weather fan each year they lost and I stayed loyal.

All this had brought me to the pinnacle of my involvement: bleacher seating at Yankee stadium.  I couldn’t pay the small fortune to get any closer, so this was it: watching Jeter and Rodriguez and Posada through binoculars, going on and on about how they were really real.

What if, right then, one of the security officers had called my name, motioned me over, and said, “Hey, we’re needing a few fans to sit right on the field and cheer there.  If you have an allergy to grass, it might bother you, but that’s not really any big deal, is it?  You might get hit with a baseball, of course, so there’s some risk here.  You’ll have to sign a waiver releasing us of all responsibility.  Do you want to come?”

What do you think my answer would have been?

WHY, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Never mind grass allergies, flying baseballs, or even the hazard of being front-and-center to all the embarrassment and frustration if the Yanks lost.

I would have been down there in a New York minute.

Now this is incredible, this is extra bamboozling, and this is unheard of–

–but sometimes, when God calls me to something, my answer isn’t

WHY, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes it’s more like,


Or even,

“Do I have to?”

Or–I admit it,

“What was that?  I don’t think I heard you.  Let’s talk about something else and forget all about it.”

How can it be, that I can be so loyal to a baseball team, for small reason . . and so disloyal to God, who has made and remade me?   I have BIG reason to love God.  Why is it so easy to slack off, treat His commands for my life half-heartedly, turn the other way?

I’m not the only one who has had this problem.

Moses–Moses!–the Moses who people who are not even familiar with the Old Testament have heard of–reacted to God in this way, hinting strongly that perhaps his uninvolvement in God’s plan really would be wisest.

But to understand this better, I have to remember God is talking to Moses in an audible voice, from a burning bush that an angel of the Lord is within.  Is it even possible that, after all that, Moses could shirk from involvement in God’s plan?

Oh yes, yes it is.  And not only is it possible, it happened.

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” (Genesis 3:2-4, NIV)

As the incredible story unfolds in Genesis 3, the Lord reveals His plan for Moses’ life:

“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10, NIV)

Have you ever complained to God, over and over, that He hasn’t more clearly revealed His will to you?  I know I have.  Well, here is a man who God out-and-out revealed the plan of his life to.

And Moses’ reaction?  Overwhelming excitement?  Eager jumping up and down?

Not exactly–or at all.

More like . . dread.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11, NIV)

I notice the facade of humility here.  It reminds me of a couple things.  Like the old cartoons where a character asks, “Who–me?  Lil’ old me?”  And that old saying, “poor me–poor, poor me”.  But, most of all, it reminds me of me.

“Who–me?  Oh, not me, Lord.  Poor me, poor, poor me.”

But if I had been asked to sit on the field in Yankee Stadium–even if I’d gotten muddy, even if a ball had flown in my face–I wouldn’t have said anything like this.  I wouldn’t, probably, have said anything at all.  I’d have been running down the bleachers to get there as fast as I could before somebody else took my place.

Moses kept his reluctance for a time, but he did obey God.  The irony is, the only reason we remember Moses is because of God’s work in his life.  Otherwise, Moses would have been just another Egyptian, or just another Hebrew, depending on how you look at it. 

Without God, Moses’ life would have been drab.  Unmemorable.  And unmeaningful.

Yet Moses’ almost gave away the parting of the Red Sea.  He almost gave away leading something like a million enslaved people across a desert to the land of their freedom.  He almost gave away raising his staff so an army of underdogs could win.  He almost gave away witnessing bread fall from the sky to feed a hungry people.  He almost gave away holding up a bronze serpent to save the dying from their death.

He almost gave away the chance to reveal, by God’s direction, clues of the Messiah to come.

Moses was desperately wrong to want to be uninvolved in God’s plan.  But Moses’ knew very little of God.  He had not the beginning of an idea that God would one day come to earth and lead people out of sin’s slavery . . that God would teach His people how to fight battles of the soul against enemies they never could have imagined defeating . . that God Himself would die for the dying.

Moses didn’t know any of this.

But I do.

. . And if I can run down the bleachers for an opportunity to cheer people who don’t know me and don’t care about me . . . . . what should I be able to do when given the opportunity to serve the Son of God, who gave up His last breath for me?

I don’t want to be uninvolved in the plan written by the God whose hand is scarred by my sin.

I want to be running down the bleachers, leaving the yells of my fears and worries and laziness and attachments far behind. . so I can get on the field with Him as fast as possible.

But in God’s plan, I don’t just watch Him.

I become a part of the team.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together. (Romans 8:17, WBT)

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:6, NLT)


Photograph by Eric Beato, profile on

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