Life, Death, and Everything in Between

Even though Easter was very late this year, I find it hard to believe that more than a week has already gone by from that great celebration we had together on resurrection Sunday. Whether it is Christmas or Easter it always feels like a bit of a letdown after all the build up. I wonder why it is that we seem to lack some of the enthusiasm in the everyday life as followers of Jesus. Are the days really that different? Probably more important is, do we somehow think that Jesus is different during the holidays then during the rest of the year? Somehow, in some way, we need to approach our Lord with the same excitement and hope we have at Christmas and the confidence that we claim in the cross at Easter.

I just finished reading the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” (I know I’m a little slow getting through my reading pile). This book is simply about a university professor (Morrie) and his student (Mitch) reconnecting later in life while Morrie is battling ALS. As Morrie stares his imminent death in the face, he gently passes on the wisdom he has gained throughout his life one last time to this student who has become more like a son to him.

As Morrie draws ever closer to death we read this encounter on page 170…

Morrie: “You’ll come to my grave? To tell me your problems?”
Mitch: “My problems?”
Morrie: “Yes”
Mitch: “And you’ll give me answers?”
Morrie: “I’ll give you what I can. Don’t I always?”

When I read this little conversation I picture a conversation with God where he wants us to talk with him about our life but, we’re only willing to do that if he gives us answers that satisfy our desire (which usually means taking away pain or making life easy). In his gentle yet powerful way he responds to us with the same words “I’ll give you what I can. Don’t I always?”

It’s in these holidays that he really has given whatever he can for us. At Christmas he gave up his rights as God and entered the creation in the human form that he created. At Easter he gave up that life to die a gruesome and excruciatingly painful death. And he did these things so that we could have life. This clearly isn’t how we would have done it but it truly was the right answer.

The writer of Hebrews says,

“Therefore, since we have a great high, priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV

Our hope and our confidence are not found in the holidays but rather in the one we celebrate during those holidays. The person of Jesus, who can relate to us in ways that we often forget, sits at the right had of the Father speaking on our behalf. Believe it or not when it comes to our life he gets it. The highs and lows, joys and sorrows, sickness and health, and any other experience we have he can relate. Why does he relate so well? Because he has given what he can, just as he always does!

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