What we celebrate today is the culmination of a series of events. Today is a day of extreme rejoicing. It should be the most joyful celebration for the Christian. I would ask you hang there with me though as I backtrack briefly in the story. I was hit with such a simplistic yet profound element of the story that I never really focused on much until this year.
Go back with me to the garden. Jesus made the most transparent and honest prayer that He could. He asked to be spared from what was about to happening. He asked for there to be another way that did not require the agony of the crucifixion. Jesus ends this pleading with the boldest words any man could ever speak, “Not my will father, but yours”. Jesus is opening up to God’s will. God’s will requires Jesus to be lead like a lamb to the slaughter. God’s will requires pain, torture, and death. It is a will of crisis and strife. If God is the storyteller then couldn’t He come up with a better story? A happier story?
This is why resurrection day is so important. The story didn’t end in the tomb. God’s will did not find its completion in His sons’ corpse. All of that was just one big setup for the grand conclusion. All of the pain, struggles, and hardships were to provide the best possible ending to this part of the story. In truth it is the grand conclusion of the whole story, for Christ’s death and resurrection is found from beginning to end.
Why do I not willingly surrender myself to God’s will more often? I’ve struggled with this lately. God’s will inevitably seems to lead me down a difficult path. It inevitably puts me in situation where some will not think kindly of me. It is certain to put me in harm’s way. It is clear that I will face hardships. You see, when I look at God’s will the only thing I can see is the middle act.
There is a third act though. What we celebrate today is a third act. It is the act where everything is made right. It is the act that is all the more beautiful and powerful because of all the wrong there seemed to be in the second act. I find myself looking at the whole story and seeing a much different picture. Yes, this most certainly was the best story God could tell.
God’s will is guaranteed to lead you down a hard road. I can promise you it will be difficult. I can also promise you that is all just a grand setup for the third act though. It is setting you up for the best finale your life ca n have. The best finale in a life is the kind that echoes on this earth after you have gone.
Did I mention there is a bonus act? Perhaps bonus act is the wrong word. Perhaps it is better stated as the eternal act. It’s the act that I truly live for. Its beginning is a thing of beauty when I meet the storyteller to hear Him say, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant”. That is just the beginning of that act, and it was God’s will that made it possible.
The question is simply. If God’s will all those years ago is what made life worth living despite the hardship, then why do we not follow His will more often? When you fear what the second act contains, remember the greatest third act this world has ever seen. JESUS IS RISEN!