I’m heading into Easter less than two weeks post surgery. During Lent, I was preoccupied with forms, registrations, doctor’s visits, and lab work. Then surgery. Now I’m recovering. During this holy season, I’ve been often distracted with the concerns of life – sickness, my body, recovery.
But, as the apostle Paul neared the end of his life, he reminded Timothy that there was only one important thing. “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8).
That’s it. Simple.
Paul wrote this from a dungeon – a dark, dank, windowless former cistern – as he awaited execution. He had been imprisoned by a madman, the Emperor Nero, a weighty trial indeed.
The gospel is what eradicates fear, even in such a place with such a captor. This is what gives us hope now and beyond the grave. The truth of the gospel holds us together.
A corpse got up of its own accord. The Spirit re-inhabited the body. The body came alive again with wounds visible, and the living, breathing Person walked out of the tomb, appeared in unexpected locations—even locked rooms, and rose bodily into heaven. This was witnessed by over five hundred people. This happened.
David was a man of blood. He had sex with another man’s wife. Then he had her husband murdered. This initial seed sown was born a son and died as a consequence. David repented. Then he and Bathsheba conceived Solomon, who became the ancestor of Christ as foretold. Prophesy was fulfilled.
God used the seed of David and the ovum of a broken and shamed woman to produce his coming Son’s human lineage. God used seed that included people like you and me—liars, murderers, adulterers, gossips, fornicators, thieves, swindlers, cheats, and rebels.
God is with us in our brokenness, as we live out our lives in broken bodies that age, fall apart, require surgery, and one day die.
What happens when Jesus is foremost in our minds? We remember the insignificance of our physical decay and the gift of our eternity with Christ.
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
Jesus fulfilled every prophesy about his Person, his redemptive mission, and his lineage. He came as the Suffering Servant to pay for our sins and to make us his own. As surely as he came the first time, he will come again as the Conquering King. It is written.
His coming and his resurrection proved God’s Word is true. It can be trusted.
If this One can make himself alive, he can make us alive. No matter what happens to me, Paul says, he can make me alive. He promised. He will give us new glorified bodies. It doesn’t matter what happens to our bodies down here.
We belong to God because of Christ. This is the life-altering fact. With gratitude and love, we keep Jesus foremost in our minds. Christ’s gospel is the one important thing.
If Jesus can handle life and death, he can certainly handle our day-to-day trials.
How does focusing on the One Thing keep you in balance?