Sad but true. At least that was my story. It was really difficult to take part in something that I never heard much about or understood when I was young. When I became a young adult, my heart was dead and empty inside and I spent decades living with that heart. I chose a life of destruction that was killing me slowly. I am grateful to say this is no longer true, the Lord has changed everything about me. But there are so many others who still don’t know about Jesus and what He did because they have never heard. My heart breaks because I know it breaks the Lord’s heart too. We modern day disciples of Christ have much work to do!
As I was preparing my lesson to share with my sisters for this coming Tuesday night’s Bible study, I felt very overwhelmed by the Lord on this Good Friday and the thought that Sunday is coming! I feel the Lord wanting me to share that as a young girl, I didn’t know much about Jesus and never once heard (until much later as an adult) that I needed to ask Him to come into my heart. I had heard a little about sin, but I never knew how bad it really was and how it separates us from God. Separation from Him was all I knew. However, at that time because I hadn’t learned much about the Lord, I didn’t even know I was separated from Him. Never heard that it was important to have a relationship with Him. Never heard how one even goes about doing that. As you can see, I didn’t know much of anything. All I knew was how to try to survive a difficult life and I wasn’t very good at it because I was barely surviving it.
I am embarrassed to admit that for many years I didn’t know the true meaning of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I was in my late twenties when I finally realized what Jesus had done for me. But because I didn’t know Him yet, I still didn’t get it. I felt nothing. My heart was broken and empty from the life I had chosen to live. My eyes, ears, and heart were completely closed.
It took another 14-15 years for me to be walking in the darkness until like Saul, I was knocked down by Jesus. I find the comparison interesting…Saul was knocked off his feet on the road to Damascus. I was knocked off my feet (landed in a hospital) on the road to a slow and painful death (I was drinking myself to death). Saul was blinded for a few days by the Lord’s incredible Light. I was given the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the heart to want to become a disciple of Christ to serve Him and to suffer for Him until that great day when I get to see Him face to face. It’s interesting to think about now, how my conversion is a powerful one like Saul’s. Of course Saul’s story is an extremely powerful one and I’m not claiming that mine is anything like his, but in today’s world, I think what I have shared about what God has done in my life in previous posts is pretty powerful. I’m so in awe of the story of how Saul was completely transformed by the Lord and became one of the greatest Apostles. If anyone reading this is not familiar with Saul’s story, you can find it in the book of Acts Chapter 9 in the New Testament. If you’re new to the Bible, I want to encourage you to start with the gospel of John to learn more about Jesus first. After that, the entire book of Acts is pretty awesome too. Okay, enough of that for now.
As I was doing some online research, I stumbled upon a note from a pastor’s sermon. I am sorry that I don’t remember his name, but I think what he wrote is worth sharing and perfect timing (it seems he possibly used it from an author by the name of Paul Hovey):
“The simplest meaning of Easter is that we are living in a world in which God has the last word. On Friday night it appeared as if evil were the master of life. The holiest and most lovable One who had ever lived was dead and in His tomb, crucified by the order of a tyrant without either scruples or regrets. He who had raised the highest hopes among men had died by the most shameful means. A cross, three nails, a jeering mob of debauched souls, and a quick thrust of a spear had ended it all.
Those hours when His voice was stilled and His hands were quiet were the blackest through which the human race has ever lived. If Caesar could put an end to Jesus, then no man could ever dare aspire or hope again. Hope, in such a world, could be nothing better than a mockery.
Then came Easter morning and the glorious word: ‘He is risen!’ And evil’s triumph was at an end. Since that hour when Mary in the garden first discovered the staggering fact of victory, no man whose heart was pure and whose labors were honest has ever had a reason to fear or despair if he believed in the Resurrection.”
In John 11:25-27 we read that Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” We read that Martha responded with “Yes, Lord. I believe…”
I am so grateful that I have answered the Lord with “Yes, Lord, I believe!” It took many years for it to happen, but I will never regret the decision. The Lord Jesus paid my ransom on that Good Friday. He laid down His life for me so that I can live forever with Him…I believe Jesus is the Resurrection AND the Life and I am eternally grateful! ♥
One more quote to share that just came to mind from Beth Moore: “God’s specialty is raising dead things to life and making impossible things possible.” I love these words, they are so true for my own life and many others around me.
Oh Lord Jesus, I pray that many more will hear and come to understand what You did for them AND believe…