April 24, Easter Sunday
April 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
-Hebrews 12.1, 2-
After demonstrating that we are part of this great story of faith and stand among so many who have gone before, the author of Hebrews comes to the climax of our passage. We spoke early on of how the passage does not define “faith” for us; rather, it speaks of what faith-actions look like.
In these verses, we are given practical guidelines for living the life of faith and acting as agents of redemption in the world. The author uses the imagery of a race, which shows us that the life of faith is a process, something that takes place over time. Those who have gone before are cheering us on; with their encouragement ringing in our ears, we strive to separate ourselves from the things that take away from our ability to love God and serve him. When our lives become difficult, we do not falter or change course.
We do these things by looking to Jesus, our resurrected Lord and Savior. He is our focal point, our goal. We are reminded of when Peter stepped out onto the water to meet Jesus; as long as he kept his eyes on the Savior, he was able to walk. So it is with us. Christ initiated the coming of God’s Kingdom by his ministry, death, and resurrection; we anticipate the perfection of what he started when he comes again. Because of the things that were yet to come, he willingly suffered at the cross and became the least of all. After his resurrection, he ascended to the right hand of God to take his rightful place as our high priest and sovereign ruler.
Today is Easter, when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. We look at his resurrection and experience the resurrection of dead and broken things within our own lives. As we are his people, we are active agents in bringing about resurrection in broken situations and people who are looking to experience the love of God in tangible ways. As we participate in the story of faith, our story, Christ’s story, we experience the power of redemption and are empowered to share this redemption with others.
He is risen!