11th Apr, 2009

This Night Ends in Resurrection – He is Risen!


 

[B]ecause those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:14-17

There’s this story told in the gospel of Matthew that makes everyone uncomfortable. It made the original hearers uncomfortable, and, today, it always gets told with caveats. Even with the explanations we still feel ill at ease.

In Matthew 19:16-30 a rich and powerful young man comes to Jesus, seeking His wisdom. This man appears to want to hear from Jesus and has sought Him out. He wants to know the key to eternal life.

It is Jesus’ response to the young ruler that creates fear in us all.

If you wish to be complete, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

Every time this passage is taught the preacher will say, “This doesn’t mean everyone has to sell everything they have and give it all away.” And, that is true. God doesn’t have conditions on His love. But, why do we feel compelled to say this? What is it we fear? What is it we want to hold back from God? Are we like the rich young ruler, whose heart Jesus knew when He delivered this fateful message? Do we hold onto something that we are unwilling to give up for Him?

Jesus is alive. He conquered death. He bridged the gap. He completed the work that made it possible for us to have relationship with the Father again.

And what He says to us is this: “I give you all that I have for all that you have.”

That’s it.

It’s the deal of eternity. All that I have (what really do I have?) for all that He has.

What does Jesus have?

Well, He is the King of all kings.

The Lord of all lords. 1 Timothy 6:15

The earth is His. Psalm 24:1

The Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Revelation 22:13

He is Faithful and True. Revelation 19:11

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:15-20

The scripture with which I began this post tells us plainly that we are co-heirs with Christ. All that He has inherited because of His work is now ours through the grace and love of God. So, why do we get uncomfortable with the rich young ruler? I mean, seriously, all that I have for all that He has? Let’s get real. This truly is the investment of all investments. We kid ourselves with our little get rich ideas, our great jobs, our real estate, our cars, our holidays. Let’s put our lives into something that really has futures! Quit laying up treasures where rust destroys and people steal. Let’s give it all away to build the Kingdom where everything that is His is also ours and trust that He will NEVER LET US DOWN. He didn’t even come down off the Cross. He died, but now HE IS ALIVE.

Happy Easter. He is risen. He is alive. Rest in that.

And worship the One worthy of our worship by letting go of everything you hold onto – becoming a living sacrifice – just as He did and allow the love He demonstrated for you compel you to do the same. Romans 12:1-2

I love you!

Responses

Bryan, great writing as always. Thanks – you really inspire and challenge me.

Patrick

Thank you, Patrick. Keep running the race!

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