I thought the following thoughts were such poignant reminders as we celebrate Easter. (These are just excerpts... visit Desiringgod.org for the full article.)
"As Easter approaches, let’s stir up our thankfulness and joy and admiration and amazement at what the resurrection of Jesus means for us.
The curse of our fallen nature is that what once thrilled us becomes ordinary.
The reality hasn’t changed. We have changed.
This is why the Bible exists.
Peter says of his two letters that they are written to 'stir up' or 'arouse' by means of 'reminder.'
'This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder.' (2 Peter 3:1)
So let’s stir up our sincere minds by way of reminder.
What has God done in raising Jesus from the dead? Here are a few biblical answers.
Because of the resurrection, Jesus intercedes for us in heaven before God.
Romans 8:34: “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we are born again to a living hope.
1 Peter 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we now enjoy his personal fellowship with us always.
Matthew 28:20: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Because of the resurrection, he gives repentance and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 5:31: “God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, he now has the glory for which we were made. Our ultimate destiny is to see him as he is.
1 Peter 1:21: “God . . . raised him from the dead and gave him glory.”
John 17:5, 24: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. . . . Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
May the risen Lord Jesus himself arouse your sincere mind to new depths of worship and allegiance and joy. "
(By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org)
I hope this week leading up to Easter is one full of remembrance and gratefulness.
A couple of my friends from church, Kristen and Katelyn, went to Israel a few weeks ago. This is a picture of the Sea of Galilee! It is so amazing to see pictures of (not to mention visit) the places Jesus actually lived and walked and healed and preached.
"Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel." Matthew 15:29-31