I opened my Bible today and this seemingly simple verse leapt off the page at me. The verses leading up to this paint a desperate picture. For three hours darkness covered the land.
"At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli,lema sabachthani?' which means 'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?'" (v. 46)
Matthew then goes on to recall that bystanders misunderstood and thought that Jesus was calling for Elijah. As if He hadn't been mocked enough, they jeered that maybe Elijah would save Him, because, it clearly didn't appear like His own Father would.
Sometimes that's where I get stuck. I find myself in what feels like a desperate situation and begin to fear that God has abandoned me.
And yet, this story, and my story doesn't end there. Death is not the end.
Those who arrested, tortured, taunted, crucified and killed Jesus did not understand that death was the key to victory. In their eyes, death was the worst thing they could do to this man whom many called the Messiah.
When Jesus' flesh died, He "released His spirit." It didn't end there!
This world is all about the flesh. God's Kingdom is all about the spirit.
It is absolutely impossible to kill the spirit. While our bodies will one day cease working, as Jesus' did, our spirits will not. The power of life, and love, continue on.
Many of us fear death, and yet, in truth, death should be pursued, not run from. Whether it be dying to our flesh, or, dying in our flesh and releasing our spirits to God in Heaven. Both result in new life. Both result in victory.
"Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” Matthew 28:5—7
When my mind finally allows me to grasp this simple, yet powerful truth, I realize how ridiculous it is for me to fear and battle against the one thing that will truly free me—death.
Ah, this journey of faith continues to amaze me, challenge me and excite me.
Friend, I pray that even on the worst of days you are able to catch a glimpse of His glory. And, may you know without a shadow of a doubt how very, very much He loves you.
I am so thankful that death is not the end, it's the reason I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!
Rejoicing in His goodness,