You know how you know something, but then someone else writes a comment that just makes you think, “How could I forget that?” That happened this week as I was reading the end of the book of Mark in my NT260 Bible plan.
Here’s the comment that made the connection between creation and the cross again for me:
“With His death on the cross Jesus paid God’s penalty for the sins of the world, sins that required a blood sacrifice to purify sinners. On the third day, He rose from the dead and defeated death–the ultimate consequence of sin.”Foundations New Testament
Did I already know that? Yes. Did I need a reminder? Yes! Especially as it “just happens” to be right before my life group begins a study of Easter: Behold Your King to prepare our hearts for the Easter celebration.
I was reminded how the choice to taste of the one thing Adam and Even couldn’t have, led them to bring sin into the world. With that came the first experience of death. A far cry from the perfect relationship they had with God up till then (Genesis 3). But the resurrection of Christ is a beautiful celebration of how Jesus came, not only to give his life as He experienced death on the cross, but how He rose from that tomb to conquer the devil and death for all eternity.
This reminder looks like this for me: sin=penalty of death, Christ’s death=victory over that penalty. Why wouldn’t we worship the Lord who has accomplished this life for us?
I wonder why we settle for so much less. Even for followers of Christ, it’s easy to worship idols. Sometimes we crave the creation over the Creator of that creation.
As I moved from Mark to the book of Romans the next day, I read this:
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever.Romans 1:25
I love God’s creation, especially the beach, my family, chocolate! But that should point me to worship the One who created those things, not the things themselves.
Unfortunately it’s easy for us to put finances, popularity, knowledge, human relationships, or experiences over the One Who has conquered death for us. We want our independence to live life our way, to taste of that “fruit.” I just read and shared on social media this past week a quote that expresses how fruitless this idea is so well.
As followers of Christ, we have the ability to say no to the enemy’s temptations and follow the Truth of God’s Word: Jesus who IS the Word made flesh.
This free gift is available to all. Hebrews 4:4 refers back to Genesis 2:2 when God rested from creating the earth. Part of that original creation set in motion all that would happen in the garden and included the crucifixion of Christ. And all God’s work was done by day 7!
For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in this way: And on the seventh day God rested from all his works.Hebrews 4:4
Now we can rest in that finished work! We can rest in His complete sovereign plan for us, no matter what the day brings. That is something to celebrate every day!