Week 6 Devotion by Jennifer Morris
There is something about a story coming full circle. It is set in our hearts to want to see redemption and restoration come. In the midst of pain, destruction or suffering the ability to look past it all to the restoration that is coming provides hope and the ability to press forward. Think about watching a movie that begins with a tragedy. What makes you keep watching the movie? The anticipation of redemption and renewal holds us on the edge of our seats.
As we began this journey to the cross together, we saw a garden that was perfect. Quickly after beholding the beauty of the garden, we saw the fall of humanity that initiated the cycle of destruction and sin. In scripture we see the struggle as kings and kingdoms fall, people repeatedly turn from God to idols and in the ultimate smack in God’s face his own son is betrayed, demoralized and crucified on a cross. But we cling to hope. We know how the story ends.
Holy Week is here. We remember the week of events that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion. For a believer, this is a week that has a melancholy feel. As our thoughts center on what Jesus experienced as he was betrayed, beaten and killed, it places a weight on our hearts that makes us long for redemption. We desperately hold on to the hope that we have because we know the story doesn’t end in the tomb.
At the end of this week, Good Friday will come and there will be a reverence in our hearts. Saturday will be a day of anticipation and preparation as we look forward to Easter. Sunday brings celebration as we rejoice in the empty tomb.
Then Monday morning comes. Monday can be insulting. We try to hold on to the celebration of resurrection but we are rudely reminded of our to-do list, the sickness around us, financial burdens, broken family relationships, tax day and quarantines that separate us from each other. Hope can easily begin to fade. We can feel like the story still hasn’t come full circle. Be assured that your redemption has come full circle. If you are a believer in Jesus, His death on the cross bridged the gap that sin had created. You are a new creation, a child of God and you have a home a Heaven.
But there is one more story that needs to be finished. There are still pages to be written. In the past weeks, we have come face to face with the brokenness of the fragile planet we call home. We have seen how quickly our entire world can be disrupted. We all know that this is not the Eden God created. This is not how it is supposed to be. Our journey to the cross continues to look ahead. This earth isn’t our permanent home. Jesus is preparing a place for us.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.
God’s story isn’t over. As we celebrate this last week of lent we can trust that He is making all things new. Hope continues to rise from the ashes. The ultimate defeat of death is coming when all things will be made new. Spring is the perfect reminder of that. Take some time this week to remember Jesus and his death on the cross. But also soak up the promise of all things being made new. Look at a tree full with life and be reminded of the hope that the battle has been won and the ultimate victory belongs to God. Restoration is on the way. It’s the last chapter of the story and God has saved the best for last.
This is our last fast of the Lent season. When we started this pursuit of a deeper relationship with God through fasting we couldn’t have anticipated what was coming. Life looks very different for us as we join together to fight against COVID-19 and ask God to bring healing to our planet. Practicing a fast during this time may have seemed too much for your current situation and that’s understandable. During this last week, we want you to decide what to give up in an effort to draw closer to God. You may revisit one of the earlier fasts that you felt you weren’t able to do at the time. You may pick something that God has been impressing on your heart that is keeping you from fully yielding to Him. Whatever you choose, let yourself take this time to give up something good for something better. Spend some time asking God what you can do to see Him more clearly this week as we approach the celebration of Easter.