Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
– Hebrews 12:1-3
For Jesus, Easter began with unwavering submission: “Not my will, but yours be done.”
It continued with unspeakable brutality: “They crucified him.”
It ended with unparalleled victory: “He has risen, just as he said.”
This weekend, some of us will celebrate the victory of Easter. Others will long for it to come.
There are many faithful who are living out difficult obedience, and today their way is hard. Their day of celebration has not yet arrived.
If that’s the position you’re in right now, this Easter is for you. Keep walking. Keep abiding. Don’t quit! Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
If you’ve instead chosen disobedience because you fear the difficulties that obedience might produce, this Easter is for you. Turn back to God, knowing that the joy set before you is far greater than the pain obedience might bring. Just like the Easter that the Father orchestrated for his son, our most difficult trials are conformed to the will of a sovereign God who works all things for our good.
Obedience to God can be the hardest thing we will ever have to do. Easter reminds us of this. But Easter also reminds us that obedience to God ends with victory. Victory beyond anything we can imagine.
Submit to God. Wait for the victory.
Whether you are enduring or shirking a hardship born of obedience, be encouraged by this:
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 4:15-16
This Easter, I am praying for those faithfully submitting to God despite the difficulties. I’m praying God would strengthen and renew them. And I’m waiting with them for the good that he promises.
For those who have chosen disobedience because they see only difficulty ahead, I am praying that God will give eyes to see what he has in store beyond the hardship – and an unshakeable yearning to experience the victory.
My Easter weekend will be dedicated to these prayers. If you are one of these people, enduring or shirking, and would like me to pray specifically, please contact me privately using the contact form on my Speaker page. I would be honored to pray for you.
This Easter is for you!
Thank you, Jesus, for willingly looking beyond the anguish to the greater joy; for obediently enduring the cross for my sake.
Happy Easter, friends.