“Up from the grave He arose!”
I closed my eyes as I belted out the words, and I could hear my momma’s off-key voice so clearly that she might as well have been sitting right next to me.
All of those Easter Sundays growing up, she’d belt out those words next to me. She could hardly sit still, because she believed and lived the hope of those words every day. Every year, just like the year before, she’d grab my hand and lift it higher than I felt comfortable, and with every new note, she’d pump our fists together in the air, worshipping with all that she had.
Off-key loud and all.
And now my poor boy sits next to me, and he might be praying that none of his friends are watching. It’s Easter Sunday, and I just can’t contain myself.
But then Monday came. Life got hard. The crown of thorns, the cross, the nails - it all got blurry, and my faith was challenged once again.
It’s a vicious cycle – a constant struggle – this place where my faith and this world meet.
I long for consistent, childlike faith. I have this girl who prays bold prayers. She may only be five, but she asks for God’s power to show up like you wouldn’t believe. Her voice has strength behind it, and there’s not a doubt in her mind that God can more than handle what she’s just laid at His feet. But me? I belt out praises of His victory over sin and death on Easter morning, and an hour later I’m doubting His plan in the here and now.
He fed the five thousand. He walked on water. Yet the very next day, the crowd followed him to the other side of the sea and had the audacity to say, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe?”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.” ~ John 6:35-36
You have seen me and still you do not believe.
Then came the cross, where He took on the sin of all of humanity. The punishment that should have been mine. Then came the resurrection. The victory that I sang about so passionately on Sunday morning. Then all too quickly my focus shifted, and the crowd’s words may as well have been my own: “Then what sign do you do, that I may see and believe?” I’m daring Him to prove Himself again and again come Monday.
As if the cross wasn’t enough.
So before the days and the weeks and this messed up world starts to blur my view of the cross, I must stop and remind myself of this:
The cross not only gives hope for eternity. The cross also gives power in the here and now.
At the foot of the cross, perfect love is poured out.
At the foot of the cross, forgiveness is available in abundance.
At the foot of the cross, grace is generously given.
At the foot of the cross, the weak are made strong.
At the foot of the cross, death is conquered.
At the foot of the cross, lasting peace is found.
At the foot of the cross, there is freedom and NEW LIFE.
At the foot of the cross, I can lay down the here and now, knowing that I can trust the One who has already done the work for me.
I’ve tried living on my own strength. Oh, I’ve tried. And even if I muster up every ounce of energy that I have left, I know by now that I won’t get anywhere, worth anything if I don’t start each day – and live each moment – at the foot of the cross.
Today and every day, I have a choice. My response matters.
Jesus, I trust you in the here and now. Take me back to the foot of the cross.
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness
of God’s power for us who believe him.
This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…”
~ Ephesians 1:19-20
**Let’s talk: What is it that keeps you from trusting God in the “here and now”?
At His feet,