Upon waking this morning, I heard in my spirit, Happy Birthday! My first thought was, it is not my birthday. Then, my spirit snapped awake and I realized that the Lord was saying happy birthday to me as part of His bride, the church!
You see, on this remarkable day 1,987 years ago, Zion gave birth and we were born!
Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion was in labor,
She gave birth to her children. Isaiah 66:8
Isaiah was prophesying the birth of the bride of Christ, His holy nation: Israel of God. This was the single most important weekend in history that changed everything for the people, the family of God.
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
For in Christ Jesus (following the law or not following the law) doesn’t earn you anything, but that you are a new creation. And as many as (become a new creation in Him), peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. Galatians 6:15-16
With the death and resurrection of Jesus, the remnant was transformed, those Jewish followers who walked with Him in life and stayed with Him through the Resurrection. They became the new thing God had promised through Isaiah! They were washed eternally clean by the Lamb’s sacrifice and betrothed to Him in love forever. His holy church, His beloved bride.
So, on behalf of the Bridegroom who loves you SO much, Happy Birthday, beautiful bride!
Can you imagine that? We celebrate Him on Resurrection Sunday, His victory over death and hell. But He is celebrating US!
Yesterday, I watched The Case For Christ, movie about real-life journey set upon by Lee Patrick Strobel, an award-winning journalist for the Chicago Tribune in the 1970’s. At the time, Lee was an atheist who wanted to disprove Christianity.
A friend told him, unless you want to spend two years in seminary, just try to take down the Resurrection. Because, without the Resurrection, Christianity would be a house of cards.
Lee spent months researching, traveling to expert opinions and for evidence, from all angles: historical documents, medical professionals, archaeologists, psychologists, ministers, and more. Every thread he pulled did nothing to tear down Christianity. In fact, it did the opposite.
His research wove a tapestry of overwhelming evidence. He had a law degree and approached it like he was the judge and jury. He came to the point he had to decide, when is enough evidence enough?
By the title of the movie, you can guess the outcome. He came to believe in Jesus, in His deity, sacrificial death and Resurrection. And realized He could only have chosen to do it out of love.
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.
Lee’s journey culminated in belief, but it goes further than that. Some years later, he ended up leaving journalism to become a full-time minister, devoting his own life to the very belief he had once tried to abolish.
We’ve all heard well-meaning people say, you just have to take the Gospel on faith. And, yes, faith is part of it. But the kindness and thoroughness of God is amazing. He gave us a mountain of legitimate, scientific evidence to satisfy the most inquiring, intellectual mind.
In fact, the Resurrection has more evidence than maybe any other event of its time. It happened. The God who came to earth, fulfilled every prophecy and every promise of the Hebrew prophets. His life, death, and Resurrection were as real as we are. And He loves us!
If you are searching for answers today, will you consider Lee Strobel’s story? So many, like him, over the centuries have tried to take down Christianity, only to find it stands no matter what you throw at it, no matter how you turn it around or upside down to examine it.
The internet offers this evidence to most of us freely for a few clicks. Netflix offers Lee’s story: The Case for Christ. The History channel in America will offer The Bible all day today on Easter Sunday. Don’t let another year go by before you get answers to the most important questions of all. Why are we here? Is there a God? Does He love us? Can we know Him?
The answer is yes! We become His with the simple acknowledgement we believe Him, that we understand He loves us and that He gave Himself to bridge the gap of brokenness and imperfection between us. He did it for love, to become your Bridegroom. And just like the world after Jesus, we will never be the same!
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
So, again, Happy Birthday, family of God! You have your Bridegroom’s heart, today and every day.