Turning our Mourning into Dancing
“The Lord, my strength and might, came to me as savior.”
Today’s readings: Acts 10:34-43; Ps 118:1-23; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9
Hallelujah! The Lord is risen!
Peter and John see the empty tomb (Jn 20:1-9). Something extraordinary has happened. Jesus has risen from the dead! Jesus is alive!
Jesus’ human life had ended with his death on the cross. The hopes and dreams of those who looked to him as a political king had been dashed. The disciples had been scattered and were uncertain of the future. Some of those who crucified Jesus were beginning to doubt if they did the right thing. There was uncertainty, disappointment, apprehension and lamentation.
But suddenly, things had decisively changed. Jesus had risen from the dead! He was alive! That turned everything topsy-turvy. Death had turned to life. Darkness had turned to light. Despair had turned to hope. Sorrow had turned to joy. Mourning had turned to dancing. Defeat had turned to victory. And we who were dead to sin were now “raised with Christ” (Col 3:1). It was a new beginning.
If Jesus’ resurrection turned everything around, and if we are raised with him, then our lives also now need to be completely turned around. That means that from now on, “if then (we) were raised with Christ,” we must “seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Col 3:1-2). Our focus from now on must be totally on the Lord. All our striving in this life will be guided by God’s ways. All our works will be determined by His will. And our sole desire would be to live in a way that is pleasing to Him, so that “when Christ (our) life appears, then (we) too will appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:4). One day, we will live with Christ forever in the presence of God.
But God’s will includes our work in the world in the present. What is that work? It is the Great Commission, the divine order Jesus gives to all Christians. “He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42). We are to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus to the whole world. Such proclamation gives everyone the opportunity to repent and turn to faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. This is crucial to the life of the world, as “everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43). In Jesus we are saved. In Jesus we are restored to God. In Jesus we have our hope of eternal life.
Wow! What a God! What great love for us! What is our appropriate response?
· Our hearts should be overflowing with gratitude. “Give thanks to the Lord, who is good, whose love endures forever.” (Ps 118:1).
· We should never be afraid. “Let those who fear the Lord say, God’s love endures forever. The Lord is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me?” (Ps 118:4,6).
· We should always be confident of God’s help. “In danger I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” (Ps 118:5).
· We can always rely on God for help. “The Lord is with me as my helper” (Ps 118:7a).
· We look to the Lord for victory even in the midst of great opposition (Ps 118:10-12).
God has saved us, restored us and blessed us. Awesome! “By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.” (Ps 118:23).
Let us rejoice in God’s salvation. “I was hard pressed and falling, but the Lord came to my help. The Lord, my strength and might, came to me as savior. The joyful shout of deliverance is heard in the tents of the victors; ….. I shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the Lord. The Lord chastised me harshly, but did not hand me over to death.” (Ps 118:13-15,17-18).
Jesus lives, and we live with him.
Action: Your mourning has been turned into dancing. Do your dance of joy!
Prayer: Lord, “I thank you for you answered me; you have been my savior.” (Ps 118:21). Amen and Amen!
God bless you all. Happy Easter!
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)