An intricately-woven beautiful little thing, made of simple twigs, and blades of grass perfect for its mission. Ordinary cast away and discarded things were used to create something with great purpose, to hold great treasure – new life. Once full of life, this little nest is now shaken out of its place, turned upside down, and empty. Just a shell reminding of what once was there, having fulfilled its purpose, now left behind.
Jesus was born with all the human frailties we all have; skin and bones that are easily injured, scarred, wounded; vulnerable to hunger and thirst. Yet, this human was born with great mission and purpose far beyond any other. He was God born in flesh, to live among us.
More than just live, He showed us how we are to live in a manner pleasing to God. In a world full of religious leaders who had religion without God, He showed us God. In a world full of lies built on half-truths and error, He showed us truth. In a world full of despair and hopelessness, He showed us the true source of hope and peace.
Then came the day He had told His disciples about. The day He would be tortured, condemned to death by the religious leaders, crucified, and (very importantly) raised up. They didn’t like hearing that. They expected His kingdom to begin at that time, and give them some relief from their intense Roman persecution. Crucified? How could it be? Yet it happened, just as He told them.
While they were experiencing this horrible event, they wondered if they were next, and out of that fear some even denied Him. Fear had already latched hold of them. They hid.
On the day after the Sabbath, the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb, and found that an angel had rolled away the stone which had sealed the tomb. The angel’s appearance caused such fear in the guards of the tomb, they shook and fainted. However, the angel’s words to the women? “Do not be afraid,” and he reminded them of the promise Jesus had made to them. He had risen, just as He said He would.
On their way back to tell the disciples this wonderful news, they were still afraid and full of joy at the same time. Then, Jesus met them on their way and told them, “Do not be afraid” and told them to tell the disciples they would soon see Him too.
The disciples were behind closed doors when Jesus appeared to them. His first words to them? “Peace be with you.” You see the pattern don’t you? He doesn’t exclude pain from our lives, but He gives us peace to endure.
Things to remember when your life turns upside down;
Your life has value. He loved you so very much that He paid your sin debt. He could have let you try to pay your own way and just sat back to watch you fail. He didn’t. Before you ever knew Him, He knew you and saw that you were unable to live without sin, or pay the penalty for that sin, so He paid the price for your sins (death) for you. The King of all creation did that for you. You are extremely valuable to Him.
Your life has purpose. Jesus’ purpose was to show us the way to live in eternal heaven. You have been given both abilities and frailties. You were born to use those abilities to honor His life and show others the way to eternal life.
Your life will have pain and suffering. It happens to us all. At times it will be physical pain of disease or injury. Other times it will be the anguish of suffering loss.
He understands pain and suffering. He suffered both. His crucifixion was a most gruesome and physically painful form of torture and death. He wept with those He loved when they suffered loss, and wept over those He knew were to experience devastation because of their unbelief. He knows.
He offers peace. When our lives seem to be turned upside down, and all we have known is emptied out, He offers peace. (Click to read passage from Philippians) Fear may grip us, but He releases its hold, and gives us peace. He is the God of peace.
He offers life. Without Him, we are eligible only for death, and eternal punishment for our sins. Through Him, we have life. Without Him, we have none.
He is faithful. He always stands by His promises. He WILL come again, He will provide eternal life for those who follow Him. There will be eternal punishment for those who don’t.
Father, how thankful we are that You became flesh and became the sacrifice for our sins. We have read about and seen miracles, and we have heard Your profound words of truth. When our lives become emptied, shaken, turned upside down, and fear tries to squeeze out our faith, thank You for giving us peace. Thank You for Your promises of life, and hope. Help us to remember them, hold on to them, and share them with a world so full of hurt and pain.
We realize that our little nest we call life, will end. So, we offer it to You, to use as You will, so that more will be drawn into Your love and security. When we leave our nest, let others say it had great purpose! The purpose for which YOU designed it!