Easter eggs, Easter bonnets, Easter Sunday, Easter holidays…but how about the Easter message? Isn’t Easter a Christian holiday or am I greatly mistaken?
It seems our culture has stripped the ‘Christian’ content out of any holidays. So now we have Christmas without CHRIST, Good Friday and Easter Sunday without the story of CHRIST, HIS death and resurrection. The average Canadian is saying, “Don’t get me wrong, I want the time off for some R & R, perhaps a family meal and a little fun, but please don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve already made up my mind what Easter’s all about.”As Jesus made the clear prediction of the events planned for Him for Good Friday, Saturday and Resurrection Sunday (Matthew 16:21), He faced direct opposition.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
You don’t want to rebuke Jesus too publicly–others might hear. But surely He’s mistaken. He is the Christ – the Messiah – the Anointed One – the Deliver – but does this One die? I don’t think so. He conquers. He makes His enemies a footstool for His feet. He’d never allow THEM to conquer HIM, would He?
How can anyone say “Never, Lord!?” And yet we all do. We want His help but when His plan contravenes our will, we resist. Give this up? Do that? Follow here? Go there? Suffer? No, a thousand times no. He may have His plans and when it comes to a fork in the road, we prefer our way. It’s much simpler. It’s less painful. It’s more fulfilling.
Praise God that Jesus loved Peter! He loved him as he was, but loved him enough to change him, to confront him, to call him to repentance the moment Peter’s self-will surfaced.
‘Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
So what’s in your mind today? What’s your life focus and mine? ‘The concerns of God’ or ‘human concerns.’ Whose time? Whose money? Whose will prevails in our daily schedule?
We too, if we are truly God’s children (Hebrews 12), will experience His correcting rod. As Dr. Laniak, a recent guest at Heritage Seminary and host of Shepherd Leader website reminds us in his excellent book ‘While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks’ – “Once in awhile, a shepherd might ‘remind’ straying animals with his wooden missile that their behaviour is unacceptable. This important disciplinary function of the rod ensures the flocks’ safety and well-being.” After all, Peter isn’t the only one to discover something missing in his commitment to God’s will at Easter.