It’s Good Friday today. For me, it’s always Good Friday. I think about and talk about Jesus Christ and Him crucified all the time, because I need it so much! Sunday is coming and I’ve been thinking about the resurrection a lot this week.
We usually think of the resurrection in terms of its value as a miracle which validates Jesus’ ministry. This is true, it is an amazing miracle. It is the Big One. It really does validate His ministry. It says, His death for our sins worked.
The Core Message of Easter
But on reflection, I think it says something more profound and more important to our hearts. It is a message of persistence. He says, I’m going to die, and you will all abandon Me. We say, no way Lord! I won’t abandon You! I’m faithful and loyal to the bone! Then we betray, we abandon, we deny. We help His murder. We side with evil and injustice. And He actually dies! It is over. But somehow, He persists. He comes back.
Here is something to ponder: the resurrection is not some isolated occurrence. It happened in the context of relationship with the disciples. He didn’t raise from the dead and then go to North Africa. He didn’t raise from the dead and immediately ascend to heaven. He rose from the dead and returned to His people! He came back to Mary and the other women. He came back for His guys. He rose from the dead and sought them out, and returned to them. He restored them. He rose from the dead for people. He rose from the dead in order that He could persist in these relationships.
Easter for Guilty Dogs
But we are not happy that He comes back! We are sore afraid, terribly afraid, that we will be judged for who we are and what we’ve done. He is coming back to guilty dogs with their tails tucked between their legs. Amazingly, He comes back to forgive and to restore. He says, you are still my guys. He wants to share breakfast with us. Again. He persists against all odds. It is a supernatural persistence. We may betray Him and abandon Him and deny Him and in general be all kinds of guilty pits concerning Him, but He will raise our relationships from the dead. He will use supernatural power to do it. He will shock you with mercy. People want to write all kinds of conditionality into the gospel. We want to add, as Tullian Tchivijdian says, “if’s and but’s and brakes.” The message of the resurrection is this: even murder and death can’t stop Him. Certainly the little sins and guilt we think will cause Him to abandon us aren’t going to stop Him. He died and rose from the dead for us. He will persist with us. He loves us, to infinity and beyond. If it takes a supernatural resurrection, He will still persist. There is no one who is going to stubbornly dig in their heels on our account so hard that they will perform miracles and raise from the dead to come back to us! He loves us greatly and extremely persistently, and that is what what the resurrection proves. Here is the good news: He is risen! He has come back from the dead with love in His heart for you!