Friday, April 3, 2015

The Most Important Journey

“On The Road Again” (imagine musical notes here)….It’s an old song that comes to mind – can’t remember the rest of the words – but the title describes my life TODAY.  We are in the Texas panhandle for the night, making our way back home to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from the great state of Arizona.  As hard as it was to leave the sunshine, warm weather, afternoon pool time and our precious extended family, I am ready to be HOME!  Loved being with another Christian community in AZ for worship last Sunday (and at church with my children in Oregon the Sunday before), but now I am excited to celebrate Easter (to my mind, THE most significant celebration ever!) in my home church.

This is a long journey we are on: it will take us through parts of 9 states.  Today we passed by the result of a traffic (truck) accident (hope it’s the only one!), saw lots of cactus, mountains and plains and wondered at God’s amazing world as the miles flew by and the topography changed.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like when the early settlers hooked up their wagons and horses to head west into unknown territory, full of excitement and hope, open to new opportunities.  Unlike those brave souls, we have paved roads, rest stops, informational road signs, maps and our trusty GPS.  I have the companionship of my husband and at the end of this first day we are enjoying a clean, comfy bed and just returned from a wonderful restaurant meal.

 There is a more important journey, however…one I share with all those who claim to be Christ followers. This life journey, and the path we choose in THIS life, determines our eternal destination, where we spend eternity.  And how we live (is it according to the Truth found in God’s “roadmap”?) will impact the “crowns” we will one day leave at the feet of our Savior.  Yes, those who love Christ and faithfully follow in His ways will receive crowns (James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4, 2 Timothy 4:8, Rev. 2:1).  But I suspect that when we meet face to face with our Savior, we will be so humbled and feel so undeserving that we will joyfully return the crowns to the one true King!  After all, Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6)

Let’s take a moment to look at the journey Jesus took – the one that led Him to the cross.  He had no GPS, no motel room at the end of the day, no rest stops with plumbing (if you catch my drift) and certainly no paved roads.

What did Jesus have though?  God had given Him a clear “roadmap” and companions along the way.  Jesus was never without provisions and His journey fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.  He “traveled” through very difficult “terrain” where He was tempted, hated, abandoned (even by some of His closest friends), put on trial, flogged and ultimately hung on a cross.

Jesus was buried in a tomb.  THE END….right?  :<( The disciples hid, the women wept and life went on.  WAIT….those same women were drawn back to the tomb where they came upon something shocking. The huge stone sealing the tomb had been rolled away and the tomb was EMPTY!  Do you hear the heavenly choir singing “hallelujah and amen”?!

Jesus did for us what we cannot possibly do for ourselves.  That cross stands in the gap between us and God.  Because of Jesus’ life, death and the empty tomb, when our earthly life journey is over, we will arrive safely at our eternal home.  It’s going to be much more exciting than when Charlie and I eventually pull into our driveway in Michigan, I can guarantee!

If you are reading this and have not yet asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, what are you waiting for? I invite you to join me on this “most important journey”.  The tomb is EMPTY! We can join the heavenly hosts this Sunday (or right now even!) in “hallelujah and amen”!  HAPPY EASTER!  CHRIST IS RISEN!

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