----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
To: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2017 7:30 AM
Subject: The great 'turn around'
Today we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from death to life. This was an historical event witnessed by Roman soldiers and confirmed by followers of Jesus who went to the tomb. After His resurrection, Jesus was seen by about 500 people before He ascended weeks later back to Heaven. But what does it all mean? It had appeared that Jesus had been defeated by death. He'd been betrayed by one of his disciples, captured, beaten and convicted falsely of blasphemy. The worst that could happen and the worst that could be done to Him took place. But Jesus didn't just triumph over death by raising back to life. He didn't just prove his accusers and torturers wrong.
He completed the work His father had given Him by intentionally going through the whole experience.
Jesus actually had to die...the one perfect sacrifice...so that payment could be made for my sin. I actually deserve the punishment Jesus absorbed on the Cross. My composition has a flaw, a flaw that I share with every other human being. That flaw is my personal rebellion against the God who made me. Since Adam each of us thinks we are the center and that we know better and life really is all about, or centered around, our individual lives...and we feel no need for God. But that kind of life doesn't end well (it doesn't even 'live' well really).
So Jesus' apparent defeat was actually God's plan for our victory. And the defeats we experience in life are all reversed, even transformed, to victory as well when we say to God: "What you have done through Jesus...you have done for me."
And Jesus' resurrection pictures our resurrection from death to life as we realize that 'evil' is 'live' with the letters reversed...just as the direction of our lives can be reversed by opening our eyes and our hearts to what God has done.
Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
blessings (with thanks for 40 years of marriage to my sweetheart today!)