By Herbie Newell, President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Happy Easter! The Lord is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
The Lord Jesus Christ bore the weight of our sin on Good Friday as the righteous justice of God meant for sinners was inflicted upon His Son. On Calvary, Jesus purchased our peace with God once and for all. The veil in the Temple, the dwelling place of God, tore from top to bottom as sin’s curse was broken forever.
On Saturday, the body of Jesus lay in the grave without a pulse or breath. The spotless lamb was slain, and all of heaven and earth held its collective breath – His blood served as the true blood of the final Passover. On Saturday, the evidence of the sacrifice lay in a borrowed tomb.
Isaiah 25:9, “It will be said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
On Easter Sunday, the grave stood open with the stone rolled away and Jesus’ bedclothes arranged in perfect order. Every detail meticulously planned. God had spared nothing in order to prove His unending, grave rattling, death conquering love; and today, we celebrate that the open tomb will never again be filled because Jesus our King lives.
Good Friday isn’t good until we comprehend that with our self-righteous pride, we have greatly offended the one true sovereign and holy God of the universe. Easter Sunday isn’t glorious until we realize we have risen with Christ to live a life, not unto ourselves, but a life radically devoted to Him.
And this my friends is the Gospel – a message we need to preach daily to ourselves, moment by moment, which compels our actions. The gospel fuels our work of justice to the fatherless because we are introducing them to the love of King Jesus.
As Christians, we aren’t only looking to see vulnerable children adopted physically, but ultimately, we pray that their families and cultures are transformed into communities of hope through the Gospel of Christ.
Matt Chandler says it well in his book, Explicit Gospel, “We live open-handed lives and seek to spot injustice and despair around us, and we enter into sorrow and pain so that the love, mercy, and beauty of God’s reconciling work in Christ can be seen in our lives in the hopes that a broken world will see and give praise to God.”
Beloved, we simply cannot make a true difference in the lives of children without the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel must be at the center of our call to care and the foundation on which we disciple the fatherless. With a world full of sin-sickness and a culture that seeks to separate more and more from the truth found in the Word of God, we cannot compromise and simply participate in social justice, humanitarian aid, or good works. We must hold firm to the fabric of truth, surrender daily to Christ, and allow Him to propel our service.
As Paul tells the church at Colossae, “to them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
We have this hope because of the powerful resurrection on Easter Sunday which seals our adoption into the family of God and fuels our mission every moment of every day.
Beloved, our God goes before us as the true defender of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5-6). Let us draw near this Easter to worship the father to the fatherless, whose mercy reached down to us while we were yet sinners and made true the statement that He would not leave us as spiritual orphans.
And so now we go, denying ourselves for a mission greater than ourselves, picking up our cross knowing that the fleeting comfort of this world pales in comparison to the future that Christ has purchased for those who follow Him. We take up our cross and follow Him into all the world proclaiming the excellencies of our King.
Will you join us? We need you to lean into the hope of Jesus offered through the resurrection and partner with Lifeline in our mission to manifest the gospel to orphans and vulnerable women and children.