We, as Christians, are people of the cross.
The cross of Jesus Christ shows us what love is. Not our circumstances, not the state of our world, not our perceived blessings – it is the cross by which the love, forgiveness, and mercy of God is proven. It is the cross by which the justice, wrath, and jealousy of God is displayed. We look to the cross not only to show us who God is and who we are in Him, we look to the cross to show us that the life of following Christ is one of self-denial. We look to the cross even as we take up the cross in our own lives, following the way of our Lord.
We, as Christians, are people of the resurrection.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ shows us that we are destined for more. Our life is not merely the span of a few years; it is the span of eternity. When Jesus got up from the grave, He validated everything He said about Himself and His world. His words were proven true, and if His words are true, then we know that we will follow Him into the resurrection. Like Him, we have been spiritually raised to life, so that even when we experience earthly death, the sting has been taken away. We will live with Him, as He lives, into eternity.
Because we are the people of the cross and people of the resurrection, we don’t need a day on the calendar to celebrate who Jesus is and what He has done. Instead, our eyes should be firmly fixed on the cross and the empty tomb beyond it so that as we run the race of life everything we do, say, think, and are is not only informed by but shape by the reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection:
- We parent in light of the cross and resurrection.
- We work in light of the cross and resurrection.
- We spend in light of the cross and resurrection.
- We relate to others in light of the cross and resurrection.
These realities are more than a part of our lives; they are the center of our being in Him. Like brushing our teeth in the morning, focusing on the cross and resurrection is simply what we do. Always. But even those who brush their teeth twice a day need to go to the dentist every once in a while.
While everything we do is done in light of the cross and resurrection, we will need a date on the calendar. Why is that? We need that date to make ourselves remember.
Throughout history, God has provided, and commanded, that His people remember. The festivals in the Old Testament? The Lord’s Supper in the New? These were given to the people of God so that, if one time a year, they might remember the things that their lives are built on. This is God’s grace to us because we are a forgetful people. We are those who tend to lapse into a state of spiritual sleepwalking, going through the motions of our lives, all the while those things which are most important fade into the background. But on the day set aside to remember we call forth that which has gathered dust in the recesses of our minds.
We remember. That’s what we do this week.
So even though you might be brushing your teeth every single day, don’t stop going to the dentist. And even though the cross and the resurrection might be familiar, still pause this week and remember.