Restoration. Exhaustion turning to energy. Depression turning to joy. Illness turning to health. When we see this kind of rejuvenation, we know that God is at work letting His perfect nature heal ours. He is the Restorer. Being a restorer is an intrinsic characteristic of God, and like every characteristic of God, it does not change.
God wants you and I to know His restoration power, so He’s put a boatload of examples in our world. He gives us a picture every morning when He breaks through the darkness of night with the glorious light of day. (OK, I live in Michigan; I get pretty excited about sunlight.) And look at the seasons. After the cold, dark winter, (again, Michigan perspective) God causes vibrant, yellow daffodils and red tulips to burst through the once-frozen ground. Every struggling marriage that is reconciled, every broken friendship that is mended, every sickness that is healed is evidence of the compassionate Hand of the God who restores — caring for us in daily life.
And on the first Easter, God brought restoration through resurrection. He brought new life out of death. When Jesus died on the cross the Friday before Easter Sunday, the human race’s hopeless slavery to rebelling against God also died. Human beings are no longer bound as God’s enemies, no longer chained to habits that grieve and insult a holy God, no longer forced to live and die condemned to eternal punishment. Jesus’ resurrection restored all of us who will accept Jesus as Lord over our lives to the relationship with God that Adam and Eve had in the beautiful garden — before rebellion against Him entered the world. He treasures us. We are precious to Him.
That first Easter Sunday restored hope. When Jesus rose from the grave in a new, better body that will never die, He proved that He is God – more powerful than death or anything else that comes against His people. His new eternal body is a promise to all who follow Him in faith that we, too, will one day receive new bodies that are perfectly made for forever fellowship with Him. Since death was proven powerless by Jesus, it does not have the final word over Jesus’ followers. To be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.
Just look where we’re headed! Look at the beautiful end of the story, (from the Bible, Revelation 21:3-4) “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
And that, my friends, is so much better than Easter chocolate — the ultimate restoration.
If you’re not sure you’re destined for this beautiful restoration, if you are not sure how your relationship with Jesus is right now, just bow your head and heart before Him. Ask Him to forgive anything you’ve done that disappointed or grieved Him (anything that fell short of His standard of perfect holiness), thank Him for the cross, and then accept His forgiveness. FEEL FREE to share these words with others who may be in a place of spiritual uncertainty. My prayer as I post, is that everyone who reads this is a believer – or becomes a believer the same day – and has the assurance of this no-tear, eternity in the presence of the Savior who died and rose to restore us. Happy Easter!