NASHVILLE (BP) -- Recently I unearthed an old guitar from a dark closet where it had been buried since my youth ministry days. A need to restore my soul and find fresh ways to relight the flame of my heart's passion motivated me to open the coffin-like case. I hoped that, like David playing for King Saul, when I played again I would "then be relieved" and I would "feel better" (1 Samuel 16:23).
The Ultimate Resurrection
Easter showcases the story of the ultimate resurrection: The Son of God took our sins on His shoulders, died for them, was buried in a tomb, and rose from the dead three days later. Easter's Jesus brings new life to all who trust Him. We're reminded that what was once dead can be made alive through the risen Lord, and what has been buried will be raised at His return. Easter shouts to the universe, "Death does not win! Evil does not get the last say!"
There is no edict more powerful.
The resurrection of Jesus has implications in all we are and do today. Since Jesus is alive and rules the universe, aren't we filled with enough hope to resurrect good things in our lives that we've buried? Do our years on earth and our life experiences dig graves or build platforms for living boldly in this second half of life? Does the absolute embodiment of God into our world through Jesus and the Holy Spirit make a difference today? Or is Easter just a spring fashion show?
Your Dead Things
I resurrected that old guitar for personal worship and possibly to help others. By doing so, I'm living out the message of Christ's resurrection in a tangible way.
As Easter Sunday approaches, it's the ideal time to ask yourself, What are some dead things in my life -- things that have been buried from neglect, misuse, lack of time, lack of guidance, confusion or selfishness? These dead things can range from leaving your first love of Jesus as the center of your life to lack of ministry passion, broken relationships, neglected talents and abandoned skills -- such as writing, painting, woodcarving and so forth. Time and life experiences can indeed kill things we love and once offered to God as worship. Pull away from the noise of life this month and ask yourself, What once made my heart beat fast and now lies covered in dust?
Of course, this process of resurrection demands discernment: Which things from your past should be resurrected and which should remain buried? Some hobbies and habits are no longer part of your resurrected life in Jesus Christ. Those choices and hurts can be redeemed by God to bring honor to Him and can become part of your resurrection story, but wisdom knows what to bring to life and what to keep buried with Christ.
Living Out the Easter Story
As we enter the second half of life, we must become energetically proactive in doing what matters. By now, we should know what counts for eternity and what will burn away as trash at the judgment. We've been seasoned by relationship with God and others; we know what makes a difference in people's hearts. Because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross to give us, who were dead, new life, why don't we live the Easter story out loud every day?
With God's guidance, let's allow Him to resurrect the dead things in our lives, blow off the dust, replace stretched heart strings and prove that death does not win.
Gene Wilkes is pastor of Legacy Church in Plano, Texas, where he has served since 1987. This article first appeared in More Living, a publication from LifeWay Christian Resources, focusing on engaging Boomers in discipleship and service.
Copyright (c) 2013 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net
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