My Saturday, Sunday and Monday over Easter. It will be a continuation of several posts.
I was so consumed with love and joy, reading Jesus Is (a book by Judah Smith, kindly lent to me by Anthea) and attending Easter service. Two verses from the Message version of the scripture:
Matthew 11:29-30, “Learn the unforced rhythms if grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Freely and lightly. This word has remained in my consciousness the past few days. Our Christian walk is meant to allow us to walk freely and lightly, unburdened by sins and the cares of this world. We are meant to have life and life more abundantly. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (Matthew 23:4 NKJV) the end goal of it all is not to bind ourselves down with the burdens and yoke of religious living and various laws and legislations. Even we know that deep in our hearts – for how can God call us out of one burdensome way of living into yet another? Yet we persist in it because it so yokes us down and we don’t know any better. No – the goal is not the law, but the freedom that is to be found in the grace of Jesus Christ.
The entire week before Easter I was just struggling to understand the meaning of Easter and what it has done for me – in exactly what areas has my life changed and been restored? Surely salvation is not being simply called into a different way of life – no better, just different, perhaps slightly better, holier, a little closer to God. I couldn’t see how it was as being that different – had we just subscribed to the weekly ritual of attending church and cell group, learning to count on prayer rather than other forms of release, having Jesus step into our lives periodically when we need Him, quoting bible verses rather than inspirational quotes, reading Christian books rather than self-help books, devoting our time to serving in areas with the Christian label rather than in secular organisations with secular causes – was this just a separate way of living, different, but not exactly a whole new order and world-view?
The other verse:
2 Cor 5:15, “He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.”
Far better. It isn’t supposed to be merely different, and it isn’t supposed to be a self-composed living of new practices and habits. It is far better. It is a of a whole new order. But what exactly is the nature of this far better, more abundant, free and light life? Reading Jesus Is really brought so much life and clarity to this question. The core of it is: Grace is not a concept but a person. Grace is knowing Jesus and being reacquainted with God, because sin, the force that separated us from God, no longer holds any power nor consequence over us.
The next three posts will be dedicated to three revelations God has given me over this period and through this book. I hope it will help you live the light and free, far better life that God intended for you and me.