EASTER 2006: GLORY VIA CALVARY
On the first Good Friday our Lord was betrayed by one of his own
disciples, arrested by armed soldiers, spat upon, mocked, beaten,
scourged, and forced to carry his own cross to his own crucifixion.
Today, believers in Afghanistan are betrayed by their own families,
believers in Belarus are arrested by the KGB, believers in India,
Pakistan, Iran and Iraq are terrorised, believers in Uzbekistan,
Sri Lanka, North Africa, the Middle East and Northern Nigeria are
persecuted, believers in Bangladesh are threatened, believers in
Saudi Arabia are executed, and in China, Vietnam, Indonesia,
Pakistan, India and Eritrea there are believers in prison for their
faith. On Good Friday, as we contemplate how our Lord suffered and
died for us, let’s remember and uphold those who now are suffering
and dying for him. And as we contemplate the price our Lord paid
for us, let’s commit to being prepared to pay a price for him and
for the advance of his gospel and growth of his Church. (2
Corinthians 5:15). The road to glory goes via Calvary.
On the first Easter Sunday, our Lord rose from the dead and the
shroud of death that covered all peoples and nations was destroyed
forever (Isaiah 25:7).
Christ’s victory over sin and death is the foundation of our hope
for eternity and our hope for this world. When the troubles of the
world look insurmountable and we are tempted to despair over the
sufferings of the Church and the state of the nations, we only need
to look to the cross and the empty tomb and the victorious, risen,
reigning Lord of glory. How will the earth ever come to be filled
with the knowledge and glory of the Lord as the waters cover the
sea? (Habakkuk 2:14). How will all the ends of the earth turn to
the Lord? (Psalm 22:27). How will Egypt, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon and
Sudan acknowledge the Lord? (Psalm 87). ‘”Not by might nor by
power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.’ (Zechariah 4:6).
This was Jesus’ way and must be our way: the way of the Spirit; the
way of the cross. Praise God, the road through Calvary leads to
– Elizabeth Kendal
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Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message