With each passing year of being saved, the Easter holidays have become less sympathetic and more sobering for me. As the life, death and resurrection of Jesus takes center stage, I have seen my response to the various easter films being less heartbreaking and more hopeful. From his birth to the miracles and to his death, there were many eye-catching moments in Jesus’ story; but the one I treasure the most was his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke chapter 22, verses 39 to 46).
Drink Lord! Drink!
Jesus was about to drink of the cup that was filled with God’s wrath and judgment for the sins of mankind. In preparation for this task, Jesus’ heart was filled with anguish. His heart became troubled. However, as an obedient son and a faithful friend, he persevered.
He didn’t drink of this cup with a single gulp. He sipped it steadily and faithfully, bearing the full weight of God’s judgement served for humanity. Even when his body was disfigured, organs failed, and his heart overwhelmed. He persisted in emptying the cup of “all” its contents. It was an unsightly demise for our Lord, but like the audience of a beer-drinking contest, I can imagine the heavenly hosts cheering their king. Drink Lord! Drink!
Due to Jesus sacrifice on the cross, no longer do we have to drink of the cup of the Father’s wrath. No longer do we have to carry the burdens of our trespasses or be overwhelmed by the yoke of sin. Like a faithful friend, he paid for all our debts. He has given us a clean slate. So, what’s next for man, whom he died for? Believe my friend! Believe!
Believe my friend! Believe!
Jesus momentary suffering weighed little when compared to his glorious resurrection. His triumphant victory over death gladdened the hearts of the morning, shocked the hearts of the unbelieving, and liberated the hearts of those who denied him. His resurrected body appeared before hundreds, appealing to them to believe in this message;” ...The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke chapter 24 verses 46 and 47).
Paul, in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8, stated that man is saved by faith in this message and not by works so that none of us would boast. Belief in this message redeems us of sins claim on our lives. No longer will we stand accused in the eyes of the father. Instead, we live free of condemnation (Romans chapter 8 verse 1), living in the power of the Holy Spirit, who was promised as a down payment of our inheritance for those who believe (Ephesians chapter 1 verses 13 and 14). It is through this good news that Jesus, 21 centuries later, is constantly calling onto the hearts of men to believe.
Having then believed, we are encouraged by Paul to run, keeping our eyes on an unfading crown (1st Corinthians chapter 9 verses 24 and 25). Run baby! Run!
Run baby! Run!
Like stallions galloping to their destination, run with your eyes set on heaven. Allowing the holy spirit to lead you in the path of righteousness for Christ namesake.
As gazelles pronk (leap) away from their predators. Seek to flee the very presence of evil. Submitting to God and being mindful of Satan, who seeks to kill and destroy us.
Run steadily and faithfully, not evaluating the run of another, but examining your own journey. Keeping your eyes on the one who promised to complete the good work he has started in you.
Tread radically, graciously, and humbly. Willing to carry the burdens of another. Being swift to sharing the good news and leaping for joy at its acceptance.
Running is awfully hard, but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. There will be many distractions and stumbling blocks along the way. Some self-inflicted, others by the trap of the enemy. Nevertheless, the very same power that rose our Lord from the dead is the very same power given to those who believe which “...provides us with everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2nd Peter Chapter 1 verse 3).
Jesus’ work on the cross does not cheapen the effects of our experiences here on earth. It doesn’t take for granted the pain that we endure daily. Instead, it regenerates our hearts, renews our minds, and ultimately transforms our lives for the glory of God.
So, to the unbeliever, believe! If the Holy Spirit is calling you today? Do not harden your heart. For God only plans for our good, to give us a future with him for eternity.
To the believer, continue to run. There is plenty of discouragement in this world, but as Paul encourages in 1st Corinthians chapter 9 verse 26, we do not run like one who runs aimlessly. Therefore, believe and run! Until our Lord returns.
Akeel Henry is a prisoner of hope. He enjoys sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with all individuals. He is currently a trained biochemist who aspires to become a medical doctor and pastor in the future. He believes that the secret to contentment is a moment by moment dependence on God’s grace, power and provisions.