"Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit upon Him and He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out."
HALLELUJAH! CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!!! The prophecy is fulfilled!!!!! The Saviour of the World has vacated the tomb of death that would bind us all to laws of world order, and has in Victory filled the vacancy in all hearts that would receive Him, that we would know emptiness no more! Rather, we are now called to follow our Rabbi, take up His cross, die to ourselves and know Life Eternal! HALLELUJAH for the FREEDOM CHIRST offers, the MERCY He shows, and the LOVE He so continually pours out!
"In faithfulness He will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on earth. In His law the islands will put their hope."
This Easter has been climactic of the time I have spent dedicated to the Lord while in Hawaii. Fleeing again the comforts of familiarity i escaped the faces, lives, and habits accustomed to existing in the land of ones birth, desiring more than anything to cling to Jesus, that I would truly know the Power of Living and Belonging in HIM.
The two years prior to graduation from ACU were some of the happiest, yet most challenging and heart-breaking times of my life...and the wounds did not seem to heal as i so earnestly desired. Longing to embrace the fullness of opportunity given in CHRIST, I determined to venture out over the waters to throw myself in a situation of pure dependance upon the LORD. I have found such situations necessary for conquering human inclinations to rely on oneself. Falling upon the mercy of God by allowing no other alternative provides the purest perspective of Life lived as the Beloved of Christ.
"If I rise on the Wings of the Dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139:9,10
"I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul Rejoices in my God! For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of Righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10
The mystery of "Beloved" still enthralls me, and I do believe I am still very unable to recognize the possibility of such existence. We are a part of the BRIDE of Christ?!? Spoiled by the blessing of the LORD to receive Love and acceptance in immeasurable proportion no matter where in the world i travel, His Grace still confounds me as i battle the burden i fear to be to those whose Love is freely given. The more exalted i am, the more my fear will grow if i do not immediately surrender to the Most High - for i know i am not prepared to live up to expectations on earth. I am only knowlegable, passionate, zealous, or loving where the Lord frees me to be. I know what it is to be left out - unrecognized. I remain bewildered that I have been allowed to recognize what it is to be so cherished, and loved. I know my sin, my shortcoming. Surrounded all day today by people who love and respect me incredibly - though having only spent a short time with me - overwhelms me to tears again. I know, as do those who know me best, that i am far from worthy of any attention I receive. If anything is noticed, it is not my ability to pursue the Lord as i desire...but perhaps it is my shear Desire that enthralls. The Lord alone has blessed me with that, and HE has never rejected me, though i've given Him too many opportunities. I don't understand.
"When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, 'Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.' "
I celebrated the Resurrection of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the most remote islands this week. As far from Jerusalem as you get, i gathered for the Passover last week with those whose eyes have been opened. Those of us grafted in and those the Father called long before Christ all celebrated the Risen Lord together during a Seder Passover meal. It was so beautiful to fellowship with some who had been raised orthodox Jew, some even in Israel, who were now seated together with those depending on Christ for Salavation in a small chapel, in the most distant islands, celebrating the Risen Lord.
"Sing to the Lord a New Song, His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them!" Isaiah 42:10
The officiating Rabbi with tears in his eyes explained, "There are three pieces of Matza (unleavened) Bread used during the Sedar. The second piece is broken, hidden, and brought back later - it is this piece we eat of. We never knew the meaning of this tradition. Now that i know the Messiah, Jesus Christ - I understand. Three parts of God; Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The middle part, Jesus Christ, broken, hidden, brought back." Hallelujah for the celebration and the gift it was to celebrate with so many the Grace it is to recognize our Lord as we dined together! No wonder they all soon jumped out of their seats and danced in traditional Jewish style, singing in Hebrew to my delight as we circled the room!! Hallelujah, it is Good to Rejoice!
"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!' So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first..."
This morning I ran to the ocean, arriving out of breath as the disciples from on their way to examine an empty tomb. I did not find a lonely, empty tomb at the end of my run...but a large gathering of people...coming together from all over the island, setting aside differences to proclaim together Jesus Christ as the Risen Saviour. If the Church cannot come together on this day to Praise God for the Grace He has shown...then we need not meet anywhere at all. But today, most all of the churches claimed victory and did the what Jesus commanded...Loved one another. As the sunrise spilled rays of light over the mountains to greet our joy, we sang praises together, and worshipped in love, the One we Adore. The tomb remains empty, but our hearts will never be empty again!
"I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will Live, even though he dies; and whoever Lives and Believes in me will never die!"
I believe His prayers continue today...may we pray with Him, in His precious Name, that the Father's Love would be poured out even more allowing sight to those stumbling, and drowning in the darkness...may His Grace overwhelm us - especially when we don't have sense enough to long for it. As great as our futility is to survive without committment to Him is His LOVE for us. May we surrender the convenience, and confusion of life lived for ourselves, and dedicate once for all, our lives to Him.
"Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am and to see My Glory, the Glory You have given Me because You Loved Me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You and they know that You have sent me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the Love you have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them."