As we approach the Easter season, my thoughts are directed towards the problem of evil in a new way. The issue of evil is humanity’s age-old problem, and even the greatest saints in Scripture and throughout history have wrestled over it. The dilemma is this: If God is God, then he is all-loving, all-wise, and all-powerful. How then do those three realities reconcile with the reality of evil? What do we do with the horrors we see unfolding in Ukraine, for example, this year?
Those who have yet to receive Christ need to be reborn into the kingdom and family of God. But for those already born-again, we sometimes need to be re-awakened or possibly even resurrected, spiritually speaking. I am not talking about our future resurrection when Christ returns, but here and now while still alive. We easily can forget our true identity, purpose, and calling in Christ and slip back into our old way of life.
Jesus is not some outside observer of our suffering. God is not a distant God removed from the pain of human injustice, suffering, abuse and trauma. On the cross, he absorbed all our personal and collective pain. Through the resurrection, Jesus overcame and rose to new life by which we can find healing for our broken and shattered lives as well.
When you think about it, no one has suffered greater abuse, trauma, rejection or injustice than Jesus. Having committed no wrong-doing of his own; he was wrongly condemned to the horrors of crucifixion. Having lived a sinless life, he was sentenced to death on a cross. If anyone ever had the right to take upon themselves the identity of “victim” it was Jesus. And yet, this is not the identity Jesus took for himself
Today, on Easter Sunday, as we remember the stone that was rolled away out of which Jesus emerged to new life, I pray the same will happen for you. Whatever “very large” stone has trapped you or is crushing you, may it be removed in Jesus’ name! May you experience His resurrection and victorious power.
Many of us do nothing for God because of “stones” that exist in our mind. There are obstacles that hold us back from even moving towards those situations. We feel called to serve but we see no way that we can do it, so we don’t even attempt. And because we don’t attempt, we never witness the resurrection power and reality of our Living Savior!
It’s the day in between death and resurrection. It’s the pause between the promise and the fulfillment. It’s the space between our dreams being shattered and hope being restored. It’s when we bury what has died but have yet to experience new life from the seed that is planted. It’s the day when, well, nothing seems to be happening. It’s the day when we are caught in confusion, despair and disillusionment; an end has come but new life has not yet begun.
The resurrection of Jesus reminds us that this life is not all there is. There is an eternity that awaits us and is rushing upon us. This is good news for the believer in Christ; it is bad news for the unbeliever. It is our very hope as believers; it is the very hope unbelievers are missing.