(We don't usually send out a message on Sundays, but on this day in which we especially focus on our Lord's resurrection, I thought I'd make an exception. This is a repeat from 2012. Thanks, Glen).
"The Worst Thing, the Best Thing"
The worst thing that will ever happen to us has already occurred.
"Christ died" (Romans 5:6).
No worst case scenario we can imagine will ever compare with that horrific day when the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died at the hands of the humanity He so loved. We put to death the only perfectly innocent person who ever lived, after inflicting upon Him shame, rejection, forsakenness and a misery of soul and body no other will ever know. It matters not that we weren't even born when the crime took place. Our sins made necessary the cross, and we are all complicit in the worst and most unjust event of history.
For believers in the Lord Jesus, however, the marvelous grace of God transforms the worst thing into the best thing.
"God raised Him from the dead… If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Acts 13:30; Romans 10:9-10).
Having atoned for our sins by His death, the Lord Jesus came forth from His tomb in a newness of life not only for Himself, but for all who trust in His redeeming work. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17). The cross led to the empty tomb, which leads to our full hearts, as inhabited by the Holy Spirit when we believe. Indeed, the worst thing made possible our becoming "the habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22). While we don't fully realize the enormity of such a gift at present, the day will come when a long eternity stretches forth in which we will forever exist as the very home of God. In that day, we will better understand that the worst thing made possible our reception and experience of the best thing.
In this holy light, all other challenges and difficulties fade in comparison. Indeed, if God can birth the best thing - resurrection life - from the tomb of the worst thing - the death of the Innocent - then surely He can cause every other darkness to serve as the lamp of His light. Regardless of the nature or the severity of the difficulty, the risen Christ will meet us as we look to Him in faith and expectation. An empty tomb resounds through the ages to declare God's redeeming grace. Yes, the worst thing became for believing hearts the best thing. Little wonder that the Apostle Paul exultantly proclaimed of every darkness and difficulty…
"In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."
"You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind through wicked works, hath He now reconciled in the body of His flesh through death to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight."
"Ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead."
Weekly Memory Verse
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
(I John 3:16)