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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:1–9
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (NRSV)

I admit Easter is outrageous. The whole of the story is incredibly otherworldly. A man claiming to be God, the Son of God, the long-awaited Messiah, gets hung on a cross, and then three days later he shows up alive. And not just shows up alive but claims that it is finished—and when he says “it” is finished, he means he conquered the whole evil, suffering, and death problem. It is like the greatest late-night infomercial of all time. Jesus claims that through his life, death, and resurrection he has locked in an inheritance for us. The word used in 1 Peter 1 is sealed. Jesus sealed an inheritance for you and for me. Meaning, if you are loaded down with millions of dollars of debt and every five minutes the collectors are calling—good news: Jesus sealed a new deal for you. Let’s call it a newness of life. Or right now, if you are sitting in a prison cell on death row—good news: in Christ you have an eternal imperishable inheritance. Let’s call it forgiveness or set free. 

This inheritance it is not a plane ticket or relocation plan whereby you are flying away to heaven, and as you recline in your seat you look out the window and the earth is burning up. No, no, and a third time no! The inheritance is the whole universe. The whole cosmos. Yes, the inheritance is that God, the King of heaven and earth, bought back his creation—the whole thing, every square inch of it. Bought it back from sin and death, and included in this purchase is me and you and your neighbor. God, through Jesus, swooped in and rescued us from the curse that imprisons us, damns us, and kills us. But Easter is the new word; it is the outrageous unbelievable otherworldly story of the greatest thing ever reclaimed—the whole of God’s creation, rescued, forgiven, saved, redeemed, born anew. That is my kind of inheritance!    

Almighty God, thank you for saving me! Amen.

Written by Daniel Holladay, Senior High Youth Coordinator

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