It was a miracle. The morning after watching the blazing fire that ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral, there was little hope that there would be anything left but an empty, burned out shell. Yet, even as the fire raged, something miraculous took place as newscasters talked about the historic roots of the 800-year-old cathedral:
- How those involved with the construction of the Cathedral–over the course of 200 years–dedicated what they were building to the Glory of God.
- They noted that there are NO NAMES of those who built the architectural marvel, nor are there names attached to the multiplicity of statues or its world-acclaimed stained glass windows during those first 200 years.
- They marveled at the mysterious dedication of a people (servants of Christ) who loved God and wanted nothing more than to pour out their lives to glorify Him.
After burning through most of the night the fire was finally extinguished. The next morning, the world watched and wondered: Would there be anything left within the charred ruin? The first pictures taken of the altar, showed the Cross of Christ anchored firmly in its rightful place for all to see. After watching the blazing inferno of just hours before, it was nothing short of another miracle!
As I reflect on this week, knowing that Jesus declared victory over death with His Resurrection and is coming again, I am struck by an even greater mystery:
Why did Jesus follow the trail that eventually lead to taking the punishment we deserved upon Himself?
That question has fired up many a theological discussion that I have no intention of entering into here. Instead, I offer to you a word picture given in Hebrews that invites all to look to and learn from Christ’s example witnessed that horrific day:
Therefore, . . . let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and perfecter of faith.
Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross,
scorning its shame, and sat down
at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Joy? Yes . . . JOY.
Despite His pain and suffering, Jesus saw beyond His immediate circumstances to the fulfillment of His Father’s Eternal Goal. With this call to repentance and faith in Christ, comes an assurance that brings about an eternal peace rooted deeply in the souls of all who trust in Him:
We have this HOPE as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
I just saw a news report of multiple churches bombed in Sri Lanka with many fatalities and injuries. While mourning the pain of loss and suffering inflicted this Easter morning, we find courage and strength in the promises given in Revelation so long ago:
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)
Christ has risen . . . He has risen indeed . . . Come Lord Jesus, COME!
All to His Glory!