Once upon a time,
we listened to fairy tales about princesses and children who needed rescuing. We breathed sighs of relief when the handsome prince, the hero, or the timely resourcefulness of the captives, provided a way of escape. Courage and confidence defeated dragons and cancelled magic curses. The ending of the most memorable tales featured a wedding. The hero marries the princess and they lived happily ever after in his kingdom.
Many of you see the Christ story weaved throughout these tales. The difference is that for us, as participants, the end becomes our beginning. “It is finished” not only implies a fulfilled master plan but also presents an assignment for those who decide to walk out of captivity through the now open Door. So, my question for you is the question I ask myself: will the impact of Holy Week 2020 end for me last night, when the sun set on Christianity’s most important holiday?
This past Holy Week was the most meaningful for many of us because of the global crises we have faced. I’ve read reports of many unbelievers asking questions about the Bible than ever before. Certainly, the globe is now speckled with house churches linked through the Holy Spirit and the internet. I believe we are more bonded that we have ever been. More dedicated to Jesus than we have ever been. But I woke up this morning and asked myself, Will this “high” of connectedness, dedication and spiritual pursuit end when the lockdown is over? In other words, will we live like Resurrection Day/Easter is just a holiday?
To answer this question, I have to dissect Christ’s last words because at first hearing it sounds like “The End”, but with a more horrific and less satisfying ending that our favorite fairy tales. We don’t know if Jesus murmured this phrase from weakness or shouted with the last ounce of strength. But it doesn’t matter. The hero dies. The skies grow black.
The mandate to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons was abandoned when all seemed lost. The witnesses to the crucifixion grieved and hid in fear. It would be sometime before they would realize the full implication of what was finished. But you and I are reading the story thousands of years later. We know that He fulfilled what he came to do:
defeat a dragon, cancel curses, free captives, and obtain a bride.
We are the rescued children! We are the bride of Christ! The dragon and his magic were defeated through courage and a
clever plan. Jesus is the Hero of all time!
History is not a fairy tale. It is a true story. Jesus finished the amazing plan to reverse the curse of Genesis 3. So, there is no “The End” written on a last page in the book called “Timelessness”, but a holy declaration. An assignment completed. The cry of a Son, “Dad, I’m done!
“I’m coming back with a Bride that will rule with Me!”
Huh? a Bride? to rule what?
There’s a Part Two in this story.
Part One presented the problem and the solution. Sin and blood of a sinless human being. Jesus’ assignment is what was finished. The hard work of defeating the dragon. Cancelling curses. Freeing captives from the bondage of sin and death.
Part Two is the story of the Bride on earth. We have another nickname: the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). Our children are called arrows of the Lord (Psalm 127:4). The redeemed bride of Christ is not wimpy, weak, and defensive. At least we are not supposed to be! We have been given an assignment which includes global proselytizing, providing discipleship and mentoring (includes parenting natural AND spiritual children), and displaying supernatural demonstrations of loving power.
John 14:12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do”.
We, the bride of Christ, are to live from an interesting posture of partnership. Jesus the Christ gave us authority and power, (Luke 10:19) yet in order to use it, we must abide in Him and depend on Him (John 15:4-5).
Below are phrases from the Book of Ephesians. I chose this epistle because it is LOADED with an overall character sketch of the bride of Christ. Not only that, the epistle helps me answer my introductory question: I will not allow the impact of the Holy Week to set with the ending of a holiday. Like Jesus, I have an assignment. I encourage you to scour Ephesians. Study the entire New Testament for that matter! Perhaps start with Acts, chapter 1, and jot down phrases the describe what those who witnessed the crucifixion did once they realized that the story wasn’t over.
Contemplate the how and why of phrases like: “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places“
“to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man”
“that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
“and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace”
“walk worthy of the calling with which you were called”
“He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,… that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men”.
Wow, excited assignment! Who said that being a follower in Christ was boring?
One more thing:
Cute kid, huh? 🙂 If you’ve ever heard the scripture, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15), or listened to the new worship song, The Blessing, you’ll know that not just you, but your kids are a part of this assignment! Let’s not leave them out, just because they haven’t graduated from high school yet. Let them be your first spiritual children-your first disciples. Read the book of Ephesians to them…or the whole New Testament and talk about how, as the Bride, they can do greater works! Who needs Marvel, when we have the Holy Spirit?! I very much believe that our generation is experiencing an awakening unto our image-bearing identity. Teach your kids that even if they were unplanned (by you), they were purposed by God to be alive on earth right now. Our life of faith is more than Sunday mornings at church. We are called to announce and enforce:
that the dragon has been defeated, curses have been legally cancelled, and more captives can still be set free from the bondage of sin and death. Jesus ascended, but He left behind His Bride and sent His Spirit to move through us!
Now rescued and in covenant with the King, we, the rescued, the Bride of Christ, now sit down next to Him in a place of supernatural, multiple-realm authority to rule and reign with Him (Ephesians 2:6). The 24-hr time period in which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, might have ended last night,but His resurrection power will never end. It’s the power that keeps on giving!
Through His Bride!
Watch Tina on YouTube answer questions from parents about her book.