April 1, 2013 - Monday of the Octave of Easter

Today's Reading: Job 19:23-27

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 15:1-18; Hebrew 9:1-28

I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25-26, ESV)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! In the name of Jesus. Almost everything horrible that could happen to a person happened to Job. Destruction. Death. Disease. His friends taught Job to look inside himself for answers instead of looking outward to a gracious God. Why is the world filled with so many religions? Because, like Job' s friends, we' re all trying to make sense of this troubled world. Unfortunately, our tendency also is to look inside ourselves for answers.

People say it' s intolerant to claim Christianity is the only true religion. And we' re tempted to think they might have a point, especially when we' re looking inside ourselves. After all, it' s kind of arrogant to think I' m right and all those non-Christians are wrong. But true religion doesn' t come from me — or from you. It comes from the true God.

What causes all those problems that religions are trying to cope with? Sin does. And Mohammed did not take your sin and die for it. Neither did Buddha. N or Confucius. Nor Abraham. Nor Martin Luther, for that matter. Only Jesus took your sin.

The cost to redeem you, to buy you back, is jaw-droppingly expensive. The cost to redeem you is the death of God' s own Son. Only Jesus could pay that price. Only Jesus did pay that price. That makes Jesus — and Jesus alone — your Redeemer.

How do you know the redemption price He paid was accepted? You have the receipt. His resurrection is the receipt. His resurrection tells you the Father accepted Jesus' payment.

If anyone else dies for you and rises to life, you can trust that person with your eternity. But no one else will. So hold on to your Redeemer for dear life, like Job did. You may not understand everything that happens to you. Job didn' t. But the one who left His grave empty will carry you through destruction, disease, death, and anything else horrible that happens to you, just as He did for Job.

Unless your Lord returns first, eventually you will die. But you can say with Job, "After my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God." And when in your flesh you see God, all the destruction, disease, death, and evil of this world will be forever ended.

I know that my Redeemer lives. Lord, chisel these words on my life. Engrave them on my soul. Never let me cease believing them, because those words tell me: "Christ is risen!"

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.