Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2Co 5:17)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope (1Pe 1:3)
There is an amazing moment in the movie The Passion of the Christ. To me, it makes the entire movie worth watching just for this one moment. While Jesus is carrying his cross down the Via Delorosa, his mother is being rushed through the back streets to position her to be able to come near to him one last time before Calvary. She finally sees her opening, and she runs to him as he falls to the ground under the cross’s weight. She wipes the blood and sweat from his face, and as she does he has just one fleeting moment to speak to her. The words Mel Gibson chose to have him say still sends chills down my spine. He looks at her through his bruised and blood covered face and says to her, “I am making all things new.”
What a statement of God’s work of transformation in the midst of seeming defeat! At what looked like the moment of Satan’s greatest victory, at the height of Jesus’ humiliation and suffering, he understood that it was in and through that suffering, and the death to come, that all things in heaven and on earth would be transformed.
This theme of victorious transformation through humiliation was started in the humble and inauspicious way that the Son of God came first to earth. In a few days we will celebrate Easter, and this season more than any other should remind us of God’s plan of bringing triumph out of the lowliest and most difficult situations in life.
God wants to transform you, today. That is the bottom line of the Christian life. No matter how spiritually mature you may be, no matter how badly you may have fallen, how far you may feel from God, or how strong your relationship with him may feel to you today, you are called to take the next deeper step in your journey with God in Christ. Every day you and I decide if we will go that next step and be more fully conformed to his image. Or if we will choose to go our own way, depend a little bit more on our self and be more conformed to the image of this world. There is no neutral decision. We either choose for Christ or for ourselves. Someone today will prove to be the lord of your life, and mine.
God stands ready to refresh our spirits every day. He inaugurated this transformation for us in Bethlehem, he won it for us on Calvary and he extends it to us every morning through his Spirit. I pray that this Easter season will be for you a season of refreshment. Let him restore your soul as you choose daily the deeper water into which he calls you.
Gracious and merciful God, I do so want to walk with you into deeper water. I seek with my whole heart your transforming work in my life. Take me back to the cross and empty tomb and help me understand again what was won for me there. Let me hear your voice and come to you wherever you call me. In you is my hope and salvation. I give myself back to you this Holy Week that you might refresh my spirit. In the name of the Babe of Bethlehem, the Lamb that was slain for me, and my resurrected and returning Savior, Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen.