I’ve been writing on Holy Week this past week, and I wanted to actually be able to write something about Easter, too. I sat down earlier today to try to write about the resurrection, and hope fulfilled. I wanted to write something about God doing the unexpected in times of trouble, and walking with us when we don’t even know it’s Him. But I couldn’t write that today.
As real as those truths are, my heart has been heavier than it has been all week. My post on Good Friday was basically a challenge to Christians to examine our own hearts and methods when communicating Biblical truth about marriage. I lost a friend because of that blog.
My friend is a lesbian. Despite the fact that she either completely missed the point of the blog, or saw what I was trying to address and just didn’t care, it doesn’t take away from the weight of what happened. Despite my trying to say that I was for equality in the eyes of the federal government, but against redefining marriage, she couldn’t get past my insistence on a Scriptural view of marriage. And I don’t know what went through her heart, how hard or easy it was, but just like that, she said she couldn’t stay friends with me right now, if ever.
The cosmic irony of getting that message right around the same time Christ would have breathed His last breath wasn’t lost on me.
I won’t pretend that the loss I feel is anything close to what the disciples felt when Jesus was buried. It is loss, though. It hits hard because I don’t know whether it really was the gospel that pushed her away, or if, despite my best efforts to be gracious and loving, there was something in my words that drove her away. Honestly, it hits hard either way.
That’s why the gospel, the resurrection, is so important. Because Christ’s resurrection validates the price Christ paid to redeem God’s people. The empty tomb shows us the Father considers the broken body and the blood of Jesus to be enough to free us from the grip of Sin and Death and Hell. The resurrection shows us the power of God, who can breathe life into a physical body any time He wills. It shows us that God can breathe life into someone’s spirit any time He wills, showing them the beauty and sovereignty of Christ Jesus our Lord. It’s in the resurrection that we really find our redemption.
It’s because of the resurrection that we have hope for ourselves and for those we care about. I don’t know whether my willingness to speak the truth clearly and as lovingly as I can served to drive her away, or whether she will look back and see someone who cared enough to speak the truth even though it might cost him a friendship and turn to Jesus because of it. The truth is, I may never know until I step into eternity.
What I do know is that the gospel, Christ crucified and resurrected, is the power to save (Rom. 1:16-17). The gospel is the power to blast someone out of their depravity and awaken them to confess Christ as Lord and Savior. It’s enough to cover any way I misrepresented Christ in this. More than that, it’s enough to redeem my mistakes. It’s enough to take my mistakes and cause those blunders to open the hearts of those who need to confess Christ.
As Tolkien alluded to in Lord of The Rings, it’s the resurrection that, in the end, makes it “become untrue”. Every sad moment, every unfulfilled longing, they all become untrue. Every sacrifice becomes worth it. Every sin atoned.
Just as the gospel has the power to break through the heart of my friend, it also has the power to encourage and comfort my heart if that never happens.
And, as much as this feels like Holy Saturday, waiting for redemption to come in the morning, because of the empty tomb I know that as much as redemption really is coming in the future, it’s also here right now.
It will all become untrue