Wineskins Archive

February 12, 2014

Easter Guarantee of Our Resurrection (Mar-Apr 2002)

Filed under: — @ 1:03 pm and

by Scotty Smith
March – April, 2002

The beauty of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico mesmerizes me.

Like a living artwork, the mosaic of blues, greens, and azure changes with every movement of the sun. The problem is, it’s 24 degrees outside! I had to drive around barricades this morning because water from lawn sprinkler systems had glazed the roads with a dangerous layer of ice. Strawberries, citrus groves and flowers, alike, experienced untimely death. It’s not supposed to be 24 degrees in Okaloosa County, Florida. Surely God did not plan it this way.

Last week when I went to pick up my shirts, I looked for the two welcome doggies that greet all of us who come through the door of our favorite dry cleaner. The big black lab was sitting soberly in an armchair in the corner but the little white terrier was nowhere to be found. When I asked the owner about his whereabouts, huge tears welled up in her eyes, and all she could say is, “My heart is broken.” The night before, a coyote had attacked and killed her faithful canine companion. It’s not supposed to be this way in the animal kingdom in Tennessee. Surely God did not plan it this way.

It was trauma enough for my wife to embrace the half-century birthday, but Darlene turned 50 on “9-11.” As I brought her flowers, coffee and pastry in bed, we turned on the TV only to see the twin towers of the World Trade Center begin to crumble. Senseless deaths, acts of pure hatred, families destroyed, dreams unrealized, financial ruin—it’s not supposed to be this way in any county, country, hamlet or village. Surely God did not plan it this way.

What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ have to do with these things? Everything! The Apostle Paul wrote, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (I Corinthians 15:20). In the Bible, the firstfruits are not merely the first crops harvested. They are the evidence and guarantee of the whole harvest! Jesus’ resurrection is the death of death for all who trust in Him and the guarantee of every Christian’s resurrection to eternal life in the presence of God!

But Jesus’ resurrection is also the death of death in every arena of life in which the effects of sin have marred God’s original creation and order. Because Jesus was raised from the dead the created world that now “waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed…will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom 8:19, 21).

Because of Jesus’ resurrection the wolf will indeed lie down with the lamb! The echoes and aroma that still remain of the Garden of Eden will give way to the glory and wonders of the new heaven and the new earth!

What does this mean for us today? It means that every time we see a crocus pushing up through the snow, we should be encouraged that a new world of never-dying horticultural grandeur is coming. It means that every time we deliver a meal on wheels (or on foot), we are anticipating the day of no more hunger. It means that every time we help a woman through a crisis pregnancy, we are living in light of the day of no more murder.

It means that every time we take the time to listen to one another from the heart, we are enjoying the down payment of the day when we will only live in perfect relationships. It means that every time we work hard at reconciling with an enemy or with one who has wronged us, we are announcing to the world that a day of unity, love, and peace is coming to a people from every single race, tribe, tongue, and people group! It means that every time we work hard to overcome prejudice and party spirit, we are longing with joy for the day of no more racism and pettiness.

It means that every tearful friend or stranger we validate and comfort, we look forward to the day when God himself will wipe away every tear! What does the resurrection of Jesus mean? It means that our labors in the Lord — none of them — are in vain! Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation! An empty tomb giving way to full hearts—and a full universe!New Wineskins

Scotty Smith

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