Sunday, April 16, 2017

How can I respond to Easter?

By Alfred Turley

Several years ago I started a personal tradition during Easter week of watching the movie, The Passion of the Christ.  I’ve never been the same since it came out, and I consider watching it a painful and powerful reminder of what my sin cost Him. 

But I particularly remember the first year of this tradition, when I was watching in my own living room, alone.  I remember the flogging scene which is particularly brutal and painful.  And I was moved to tears… lots of them.

I remember just feeling so bad at what I put Him through.  The older I get the more I realize how far from His standard I live each and every day.  I fail to love, fail to obey, fail to forgive, fail to believe, fail to trust.  I just FAIL.  And trust me, I’m not beating myself up.  It’s the truth.  In all of us.  When we compare ourselves to Jesus, and the standard He set which was what God had hoped for all of us, we see we are so far from that expectation.

And yet He loves us, and in the cross and resurrection He saves us.  In spite of ourselves.  How can this be????

I remember in that moment of dramatic tears and weeping, seeing and knowing my own failure, I cried out, “What can I do in response to this love, Lord?  How can I respond to what you did for me?”

And I heard it.  Deep inside me, the voice of the Holy Spirit welled up and rang throughout my soul…

“Be free.”

Indeed, “It was for freedom that Christ came to set us free” – Gal. 5:1 

Free from the slavery of sin and self-centeredness!  Free from the loneliness of a life separated from our Father’s love!  Free from self-doubt and fear that says, “I wonder if I really matter to Him?” I do matter!  We do matter!  We are His treasure, the great inheritance of God!  Deuteronomy 32:9 indicates as such: “But the LORD's portion is His people

Today, how can we respond to Easter?  Simple… Free yourself from whatever holds you back from God.  Accept the gift of the cross and resurrection of Jesus.  Free yourself to know that you are loved and the very treasure God came to save in human form.  Love Him back, by enjoying and living the abundant life and freedom He died to give you! 

Be free!  Happy Easter!


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