Words with substance
Three little words… but yet so powerful. What three words came to mind when you read the first sentence? And what makes them so full of power? Words are just words, aren’t they; that is until you find what has gone on before they were written or spoken. Many of us have read, spoken or written empty words, or phrases. No substance to fill their emptiness.
As a man, when we propose to the love of our life, most of us back it up with a diamond ring. It’s either been purchased with hard-earned money or it’s an heirloom. Either way, there is substance to our words, at least financially. Of course, there’s more to it than just the ring. The ring represents the proposal to love, honor and cherish this woman all the days of our life. The diamond ring is just the seal of that future commitment.
While I was pondering so many things about the kingdom of God today, Easter Sunday, three words came to my mind. Probably did for you also. May I give you my thoughts on the substance that make these words full of life and hope and joy.
Three little words
The first three are “It is finished”. In the beginning God created heaven and earth and all that is on the earth. That includes us. It was a perfect environment and Adam and Eve walked with God, that is until they disobeyed. What man now had done would require the God of creation to undo. We have to understand that God did not make a mistake at creation. He desired that the earth be covered with people worshiping, glorifying him and serving him, actually forever. But since sin brought death, separation from God, removal from the garden, his purpose had to be redeemed. We know that he did that by sending his Son and offering him as a sacrifice. Jesus’ last words, it is finished, is a pronouncement of the completion of this redemption. This is where we put our faith.
Secondly, “He is risen”. These sealed the deal so to speak. What the Trinity had begun at creation now was back on track. Death, separation from God, had now been defeated, the last enemy that could keep us from spending eternity with the Lord and his redeemed. The Father raised his Son from the dead, not like Lazarus earlier, who would again die, but to an eternal and glorified life. That is the second part of the gospel which we must embrace. The resurrection, the empty tomb is where we derive our hope.
Lastly, is “I love you”. These are the motivation for the first two. They have substance because of what was accomplished on the cross and at the empty tomb. “For God so loved the world that he gave…” the operative word showing how much God loves us is in what he gave. He gave the most precious thing he could give. So, when he says he loves the world, there is overflowing substance in those three words. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5.8 NKJV) This is where we get our love.
Go make disciples
Jesus spoke these words. “Greater love has no one than this, then to lay down one’s life for his friends” (Jn. 15.13 NKJV). And he tells us that in order to be His disciple, we must lay down our life and pick up his cross and do the work of the ministry. There are actually three more words and they really were his last words before he ascended. “Go, make disciples”. How easy it is to give lip service to the Easter message and not respond to this love in tangible ways. As you can see, he did not call us to comfort, he called us to obey, however that plays out in your life and mine. But the end result should be making disciples of our family, friends, neighbors, the nations. That’s why he came, died, rose and ascended. His original plan now includes us. What a joy it is to be loved this much.
It is finished; he is risen; I love you; go make disciples! Three little words, so power filled!!