Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jesus Is Risen. He Is Risen Indeed.

This is from The Father's Business. Sylvia Gunter has been an encouragement to me for years. Enjoy the insights from Sylvia and her daughter Elizabeth.

This Easter season, I have been thoroughly blessed by Luke 22:15. It has drawn me deeper into the heart of Jesus. Jesus told his disciples, "I have earnestly and intensely desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Amplified Bible). He used a strong word for "earnestly and intensely desired." He was saying, "I long eagerly to have communion with you. My affections are deeply directed toward sharing this significant holy feast with you." Jesus passionately wants our fellowship. Jesus yearns to intimately share a special meal with us, in the long leisurely custom of those days (see also Rev 3:20).

This is my watchword for this Easter season. This is a great time to pause and remember the ways Jesus has shown his love to you during the past year. What are the times or situations since last Easter that you have sensed his presence or received his passionate covenant love and kindness or basked in his intimate goodness? Thank him for those moments and journal your great gratitude for him alive, present, and active in your life and in your world.

There can be some seasons in life in which it can be hard to really "see" Jesus. When Mary Magdalene met Jesus at the garden tomb after he had been resurrected, she didn't "see" him (John 20:11-18). Of all people, she knew him so well that she should have recognized Jesus immediately, but she didn't. She thought he was the gardener. Jesus was there for her, but she just couldn't see. But then Jesus said her name "Mary," and she immediately knew it was Jesus.

This Easter be blessed to know and appreciate the many ways Jesus is present for you, even if you think he is just the gardener. Ask him to open your eyes to know him as his words burn within you on your road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Remember a time when you were toiling away at your ordinary duties, and Jesus addressed you gently as "Friend" and then did something so awesome that you knew immediately that it was he (John 21:1-7).

Read the Easter week narratives in your Bible from your spirit, as if for the first time. Ask God to immerse you deeply in some of the other rich imagery of Easter... "be there" as the triumphant King enters to waving palm branches,
"be there" at the Passover meal, "be there" in Gethsemane with the agonizing submitted Son, "be there" at the cross with your crucified Savior, "be there" seeking your Lord in the garden.

Be touched by the thought in a song from decades ago: He paid much too high a price for you to be merely inspired but not truly changed.

For reflection:
Ask God to help you remember times when he was with you. Remember the emotions and stirring of your heart in those times. Ask him to give you a glimpse into his heavenly realities concerning those times. Ask him for fresh eyes to see him in the dailies of life, when he crowns them with his glory. Ask him if there is anything he wants to say to you today. Open your heart and your spirit to hear him afresh.
© 2011 by Sylvia Gunter and Elizabeth Wallace

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