It is Sunday. A day of Joy, of celebration. For You have risen, you have conquered death. And because you have risen, we share in your victory we are no longer shackled by sin and death. Your resurrection broke our chains. The children of Israel were in bondage, in chains, but with the death of a lamb and its blood applied to the entrance each home there came a swift and sure judgement against their oppressor, Egypt.
Early the next morning the proclamation came - you are free. With the application of the blood they were set apart for blessing and favor, for grace. With the application of blood, their lives were forever changed. The lure of Egypt, then its bondage would be replaced by the land of promise, the land of blessing. A new land none of them had ever seen. A land whose existence some even doubted.
But before they could enter, God tested them. It was a faith walk. But, as they stood looking at the prize - they rejected it - for they saw themselves as too small and insignificant to take the prize. They saw themselves through man's eyes, not God's For through him all things are possible.
The blood that had been applied to them, that accomplished their deliverance, had dried up and blown away. They needed a fresh application to their hearts.
They saw only their sure destruction. In contrast, Joshua and Caleb, filled with the spirit of God, returned with evidence of great blessing that was within their grasp.
But for that generation, at that place, their faith walk became a death march. They rejected the evidence, the power, the possibilities, the blood. They longed for bondage, for the chains of Egypt. They rejected God and his plan for them and for generations yet unborn. They rejected his miracles, his provision and his grace. They said it can't be done, we can't take this land. We're not warriors, we're slaves - remember God!
And they spat in his face.
We have never done anything like what you are asking us to do - we are too weak, and small, and insignificant. Let us return to Egypt that we might die there.
~ ~ ~
That first Sunday. The blood had been applied but they didn't understand the significance. They were free, yet were mired in grief and fear. Then like a ray of sun suddenly breaking through thick black clouds, he came to them, risen, victorious.
Their dream had been shattered like a clay pot. But he took the pieces and remolded their dream. For the 120, a remnant who had witnessed his resurrection, and his ascension, the blood was applied, the Spirit poured on them. They proceeded and did not hold back as they followed his leading into the unknown. Their faith walk was a spiritual one, their weapon was the word.
And everywhere their foot trod became new territory claimed for the King. Everywhere they preached, the blood was applied and chains were broken. Those held in bondage were set free. And with freedom, came the Spirit in power, that their lives would begin to yield a sweet fruit, an abundant, bountiful fruit, that can be shared over and over with others.
We are trees, always with
green leaves, always in bloom, always bearing fruit. Some of our
fruit is ripe and ready, some is yet small and immature, but with our roots
sunk deep in the bank of His river of living water we are a blessing to
all who come and marvel at this new thing, a tree in blossom and bearing
fruit at the same time. Those who eat of the fruit experience its
sweet nectar spread it power through their body. Its warming, tingling,
life giving power, surging though each cell that enables us to go forth
to make disciples, to share his word to apply the blood to break the chains
lmv:June 18, 2000