Thursday, March 24, 2005

Weekly Word - Easter 2005

Weekly Word

Easter Week 2005

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
(Luke 19: 10)

For Christians, this week is one of the most “Holy” of weeks. It is the week leading up to the death, and resurrection of the Lord. It is a time to reflect on what Jesus’ Life, and Death, were about - - - for each of us . . .

“the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, (and) the poor have the Gospel preached to them.”
(Luke 7: 22)

Over the past two weeks, the messages have been about those “imprints” that are made upon our lives. “Imprints” from the hands of those who love us; as well as the marks of those who have hurt us. In an imperfect world, it is hard to find a person who hasn’t felt the heartache of a love that is lost, or doesn’t carry wounds deep in their souls.

I have told about the dream a friend of mine had, years ago. In her dream, she saw herself in a long white nightgown. She was in bed with her husband. As the dream progressed, she watched herself get up out of bed and walk over to a full length mirror. Standing in front of it, she took off her nightgown. Gasping, she saw her naked body covered by black marks - tattoos. She then looked over at the bed, where her husband was fast asleep. Looking at him, she knew that many of those marks were made by him! When she woke up, she wondered what to do. She loved this man - but she also knew his cruelty and anger had made their marks on her life.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16: 33)

Quite a few years ago, before Ted and I felt the first heartbeats of love, we both were involved in the same Christian counseling ministry. I had been working at the ministry for quite a number of years, when Ted came for help. His heart had been broken, and so, searching for help - he found his way to the ministry. As God brought about healing in his heart, Ted found new life in helping out at the ministry. There was a very old apartment on the property - one that seemed to need some work - one that “others” wanted me to move in to . . .

The apartment was very dark, and was contaminated with old insulation and rundown walls. The head of the ministry believed I should move in to it - but inside of me, my heart sank when I stood in this dingy place. How was I going to “live” here?

“I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness.”
(John 12: 46)

He started to tear the walls down in August, and to this day, I don’t know how he finished it before Christmas! Ted rebuilt that apartment. Every wall, every floor and ceiling were taken out. And the rebuilding began. As Ted began “rebuilding” that apartment, the Lord began to “rebuild” both our lives! The walls were put in place - - - the ceiling was built a little higher - - - and new floors were laid. All the while, love started to grow - - - and “new life” began where heartbreak and hurts had once been . . .

In order that Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life . . .
(Romans 6: 4)

Newness of Life . . . that is His Promise - and what this Holiest of Weeks is all about! There is a moment in time that I will never forget. It was a few months after I had moved into that beautiful new apartment, right around Easter, and the beginning of spring. Ted and I were still wondering what to do with this new love - that seemed so right - but others told us was “wrong”. We had agreed to put a distance between us - - - a time and space - to “let go”. With a heaviness, we were both there on this very special day. We had prayed together - - - and cried together. And then it happened! The white walls were covered with rainbows - colors and light filled the apartment. I had placed a single cross on the window. The cross had small crystals inside. As the sunlight poured in, Ted and I were surrounded by color - by such beauty and wonder! At that moment - - - the heaviness lifted, filling us with such lightness and joy! Hanging on to each other - - - we started believing God’s Promise - of “new life” . . .

New Life - Easter - the fulfillment of God’s Promise:

“Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life.”
(John 17: 1 & 2)

With this prayer - Jesus began to celebrate Passover. It was the beginning of His final days. When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples . . . and was betrayed. He - Who was “without sin” - was given over to suffering and death . . .

“The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected . . . And be killed, and be raised up on the third day.”
(Luke 9: 22)

Jesus suffered - - - He was rejected - - - He felt desolate and abandoned - by all He loved! He shared in our hurts - and felt our pain! And He did this for one reason - - - and one reason only . . . .

“I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
(John 10:10)

He came that you might have life - - - and abundant life! Will you believe? Will you trust Him with your heart - and your hopes . . . Trusting Him with - your pain and suffering . . . Believing in His Promise - of healing and life . . . for the rest of your life . . .

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life” . . . He is just waiting, for you to say “yes” . . .

But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
(John 20: 31)

God bless you as you celebrate this joyous time - this day of New Life - called Easter!

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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