Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter-A Different Perspective

A look at Easter from a different perspective.
God's view versus men’s view versus the devil's view.
God saw his son die for man, while Satan saw God's Son die.
Man, wanted God's son to die because the devil’s trickery blinded them. They only saw a competition to their reign on the souls of men. Leaders of that time thought they had a line on being spiritual. Their blinded eyes left them longing for what they did not know they needed. Their pharisaical nature led them to their unholy love for the God they believed they were serving.
God saw his son's love for others, their love for his powers. The Father looked down and watched as His Only Son became a rock that many depended upon. Others desiring his company more than what he could do for them. Betrayal by one of Christ's own disciples. Beating by the guards and other hurtful words. Scorn by the people he will always love. Death on a cruel cross, breathing out forgiveness and mercy. The tomb, the rented one. The earth-hewn grave which would have no power over Him.
The devil saw Jesus' denial of him. The miracles he performed. The crowds he gathered. The wisdom Jesus imparted. The times he would attempt to kill Jesus. The betrayal of one of Jesus' own orchestrated by the devil himself. The kiss of death. The false accusations, perpetrated by the demons. The trial of God's son, the Most-High God. The beatings. The crown of thorns. The shame, the mockery. The cross. The nails hammered in so tightly. The sword piercing his side. The agony of staying on the cross for hours. The final curtain call of one so mighty. The death of Jesus. The burial. The resurrection of one Jesus Christ.
The devil lost the keys to hell and the grave over a few days. Yes, he can accuse and snap at you all day long, however, he is a defeated foe. A foe, whose eventual destination is the lake of fire.
God’s love is unmistakable in its pursuit of the creation. God’s love is undeniable in its hunt for the souls of men. The devil seeks to destroy the souls of men; God’s love seeks to empower and save these souls. Empowering. Inspiring. Energizing. Encouraging. Words that enable the creation to become what the Creator embraced.
God’s perspective allows Him to view the Easter story from on high. Man, only sees the world around them as through a glass. Satan’s view showcases the view of a defeated being never acknowledging his own impermanence.
If we were to view Easter from God’s view, would we view our own lives in a different way? Would we be less volatile to the notion of seeing the Savior hung on a tree? Would we desire to be more like Christ and less like the devil incarnate?
Only viewing the story of Easter through the Father’s eyes can we fully see our mortality and our own insecurities manifested. Our powerlessness. His dynamite power. Our uncertainties. His certain acts of goodness. Our anxieties. His confident roar. Our timidity. His spirit of authority.
Our view of Easter is more like Easter egg hunts and dinners. It is also about the Easter bunny who presumably brings colored, sometimes prized Easter eggs. But is Easter really all about this? Is it about the bright clothes, the bright colors, the bright smiles? Yes, all these things are important but are they what this time of year is all about? Did God, the Father of Jesus, proclaim this as a feast? Or did He want this day to remind you/me of something more? Grander? Greater? Exquisite?
God, gave us Easter for the victory of the Passover. Now, is not that what happened to the Israelites when the angel of death passed over their house some many years before? God via His spirit, passed over the earth and His Son was the blood sacrifice that painted our heart’s doors. Once Jesus died and breathed His last breath, the Father’s presence became real while the earth shattered and quaked. The Father left heaven and visited the tomb by an angel. Even though, many believed God abandoned His Son. Jesus even more-so said, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” In other words, “why did You leave Me, Daddy, when I needed You the most?” God, in His sovereignty, had to be as far away as He could while the sins lay bare on Jesus’ life as the one true sacrificial lamb.
However, once Jesus died, then a burial and left to rot, so-to-speak, the power that once flowed through Him, came back. And as the power came back, the light that had dimmed by the world shone brightly again. This time though, Jesus’ unfinished business with the devil cost the devil more than he could handle.
We view the cross and it's awfulness, yet cannot see the beauty of His sacrifice. The splendor. The exceptionalism. The power. The selfless love.
Let us look at Easter from a few of men's eyes...the soldier who said, "surely this was the son of God." The other soldiers who spat in his face. The disciple who took on Jesus' mom as his own. The thieves on the crosses beside Jesus. For when we see through their eyes, we may catch a glimpse of who we are.
As we look to the ways people would view the Easter season, allow me to publish something from my Pastor’s sermon Sunday. Consider the crowd of that first Holy Week...The Passover Week…
A. The Passer-By (The Innocent)
a. Caught up without any purpose--Takes time to understand the situation...
B. The Poor (The Inspired)
a. Christ offered them something the Romans could not...Hope
C. The Political (The Incited)
a. This part of the crowd seemed to be looking for someone to overthrow the Romans. However, kings ride horses, a savior rides a donkey
D. The Powerful (The Intolerant)
a. The Pharisees
E. The Passionate (The True Believers) Those touched by the deliverer, the savior, the healer
Prophesy required His death and resurrection. To fulfill the requirement of shedding blood for sin. To fulfill the requirement to be with God. It was necessary to quiet hell. To extinguish the fiery darts thrown by Satan. To conquer the gates of hell by taking away the devil's keys. Jesus death proved that we were sinners in need of a Savior. One of the thieves realized this and desired the consequences of knowing Christ. One thief mocked and received the just reward of his deeds.
As the week begins anew, holy week becomes a bunch of tradition and pomp. It is in this tradition we see the soldier's anger and tempers flare. As the crowds gathered, the tomb lay empty and awaiting the body of the soon to be Savior of the world. The soldiers would desire blood, the disciples would desire a family, the Pharisees would desire a death. The crowd would desire sacrifice, the Savior would desire heaven's court to the agony he knew he would have to endure.
One of the soldier’s attitudes toward Christ would change. Some of them would belittle and mock Jesus. Others would be of disgust and hatred. Alas, one soldier realized that he was witnessing and viewing a moment in time like no other. This soldier bowed his head and allegiance to the one true King. This soldier, I believe, may have wept alongside Mary and the disciple whom Jesus said, “This is now your son, and this is now your mother.”
God desired a fresh relationship with humans, however, he knew the only way was through the blood of a spotless sacrifice. One that had no blemish, no imperfections, no marks of sin. God desired a relationship built on trust and loyalty. God’s trust is unequaled. His trust is undeniable. God’s trust is unquenchable. Our trust is manipulative. It trust is faithless. Our trust is incomplete. Our trust needs a dose of His goodness and faithfulness. God in His wisdom knew we would have no other choice but to rely upon Him. He knew before He created this world that we would need a Savior. God’s love showed through to us to the cross.
The cross brought on a revolution, a revival that is still shaking the very core of the earth.
As we consider the people, the soldiers, the families, the Savior, the Father and the Holy Spirit, let us remember these simple truths. Christ did not have to come down, be born, live, suffer and then die. He could have stayed up in Heaven and allowed us to wallow in our sin. However, He played an active role in our deliverance and salvation. He paid the ultimate sacrifice. His actions require nothing from us to complete the circle. His actions while alive on earth and subsequent death and resurrection reveal a much greater plan is playing out on our behalf.
Until next time,
God Bless
Brian Ferguson