Easter in Christmas

1 Peter 1: 20        TPT

This was part of God’s plan, for he was chosen and destined for this before the foundation of the earth was laid, but he has been made manifest in these last days for you.

I really enjoy Christmas and I feel extra close to Jesus during the Christmas season. Yesterday I was celebrating Jesus’ birth and said to him, “Jesus, thank you for being born.” Just think about that.

Jesus was with God when Yahweh created the earth (John 1: 1 – 3). He witnessed and participated in the creation of the world and everything in it. In today’s verse we see that God had a plan for redemption before the earth was even formed. That means that when God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were creating the earth, there was already a plan which involved Jesus coming into the earth as a human being in order to save all humanity. So, what was it like on that Christmas morn 2000 years ago?

Jesus already knew that he was to be born of a virgin as a human baby. He also knew that he would have to sacrifice himself if he was to redeem our lives from the pit of hell. So how did that conversation go?

God: Jesus, it’s time.
Jesus: Time for me to go earth as a flesh and blood person?
God: Yes. It is time for you to leave our heavenly home and to be born a baby, a human baby. You will leave your deity here and become fully human. You will be born a human, live as a human and die a human death. Your birth will be cause for a great celebration which will be remembered for all time. In the shadow of the great event of your birth will be the certainty of sacrifice and death. Are you willing to go?
Jesus: Yes!
God: Are you ready?
Jesus: Yes.
God: Then go, my son. Be born of Mary. Bring joy to the world and save every person the earth has ever or will ever know from the torture of eternal death.
Jesus: Yes, Father. All this I will do.
God: I am proud of you and I love you.

So, in the celebration of Jesus’ birth is the foreshadowing and the promise of Easter. He came to give us life, but our life was in his death and resurrection. That is why I thank Jesus for being born. Had he not said, “Yes” to Christmas, there would be no Easter. Praise God! Thank you, Jesus, for Christmas. Let every human voice be raised in song as we celebrate the savior’s birth.

Face to Face

Psalm 16: 10 – 11           TPT

For you will not abandon me to the realm of death, nor will you allow your Holy One to experience corruption. For you bring me a continual revelation of resurrection life, the path to the bliss that brings me face-to-face with you.

I am not ready to leave behind the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Perhaps you are still in the Easter mood, or if you prefer, Resurrection Sunday. Forgive me if I still use the term Easter. I guess I am nostalgic about the whole Easter season, as an event that encompasses more than one day.

We’ve kept with our Monday psalm, but I went back to the sixteenth psalm just to think a bit more about Jesus and the resurrection. David wrote this psalm and it seems pretty clear that he was moved by the Holy Spirit to write these words. He wrote that God would not allow His Holy One to experience corruption. Other translations say that God did not allow His Holy One to decay. Though David wrote this long before Jesus was born, he had a revelation about the Messiah’s journey in the earth. Jesus had to come and had to die and be buried as any other human, but God did not leave him in the grave. He never experienced decay because life returned to him and, as you know, he arose from death to live evermore. There is great exultation in that event. It is fascinating that David celebrated it long before it became a reality.

Truly, as we read this psalm, we can hear that it speaks of Jesus and us at the same time. Because we are in him, his resurrection is ours too. David wrote that we can have a continual revelation of resurrection life. The life that Jesus died to give us is continually, day by day, being revealed to us. There is more resurrection life than we first realized, in other words. The revelation of the fullness of life Jesus give us takes a lifetime and beyond to realize. It keeps getting better and better as that revelation brings us face to face with the Father. We are intended to dwell in his presence continually. So, the day after resurrection day is a whole new life for us. What the Father did on that momentous day has given us life and today we live in the resurrection life of Jesus. It is eternal. There is no death in it because Jesus will never die. He died once for all and death has been defeated.

Today, you can live in the presence of God because of what He and Jesus did for us on that fateful day. Father wants us all to live face to face with Him. We can live in a bigger and bigger revelation of what that means daily. What is it to be face to face with God? What does God have in mind? As you continue to revel in the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, ask yourself what living in the continual revelation of resurrection life means in your daily walk.