“Because He Lives (Amen)”

So I took the K-Love 30 Day Challenge about a year ago, and I’m still listening to nothing but Christian music to this day – in my car – at work, when laying in the tanning bed (yes, twice a week I submit to this guilty pleasure, and I have to tell you, not only has it improved my skin tone and color, but also my mood during the winter months who knew??) – and when I am on the elliptical machine if not reading the Bible, I have my ipod on, listening to Mercy Me, Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman and list goes on and on and on…sometimes the simple words, simple chorus, so short a song can have power we never knew existed.

I heard the words to the song I am referencing today Because He Lives by Matt Maher and it brings tears to my eyes.  I think about the upcoming Easter holiday and what I am feeling is unexplainable.  I like Christmas the joy and hope – the birth of Jesus, but Easter, He Rose at Easter – at Easter He LIVES!

You see, I absolutely LOVE Spring and I LOVE Easter and I believe there is a reason God made my birthday in the Spring.  For He KNEW I would love Spring and all the newness of the season.  The renewal of grass, gardens, flowers – oh, how I love when flowers first start poking their little heads up from the mulch – buds on trees – the sunrise and sunset in the Spring even seems different.

What I dread about Spring and what makes me sad is Good Friday and thinking about how God sent his Son to be nailed to that cross for all my short-comings and sins, yet God loved me so much, HE did this for ME.  And for YOU!  He loved me so much, He wants me to live without sin, he wants me to live by HIS book and HIS laws, KNOWING I would mess up and He still did this one act of such unconditional love, compassion, mercy and grace.  God did this for US.  When I watch the movie, The Seventh Sign, and I see the part where Demi Moore’s character is giving birth and hears the words “would you die for him?” and the scene is flashing between biblical times and present day and she reaches her hand out and touches her tiny baby boy and hears the words again, “would you die for him?” and says “yes, I would die for him.” and she holds her baby’s hand for the one and only time, I am moved beyond words.  How many of us, would die for our children?  All of us.  How many of us would give our child’s life for the life of everyone on earth?  Read that again?  How many of us would give our child’s life for the LIFE of EVERYONE, ever single person, on the face of the earth?  What LOVE God must encompass – how HUGE His love must be, to give His Son for us.

“For I do believe in the Son.  I believe in the Risen ONE!”

Then comes Easter Sunday.  I don’t know why, but every Easter Sunday I wake up feeling so joyful.  I always have.  I absolutely adore Easter Sunday.  How exciting it must have been for Mary to come to the grave and see the stone rolled away.  How exciting to suddenly see his face, his hands, his feet.

‘I believe in the Son – I believe in the risen One – I believe I overcome – By the power of His blood – Amen, Amen – I’m alive, I’m alive – Because He lives – Amen, Amen – Let my song join the one that never ends –  Because He lives”

So as I reflect on my life over the past 47 years, I realize like this beautiful song says, “I was dead in the grave” – my entire life I have spent  in my own shame by things that happened to me in my life.  Things I was too embarrassed about, or ashamed of to even admit happened to me, much less, share with anyone.  I believe at times I was even afraid to admit them to God.

“I was covered in sin and shame – I heard mercy call my name He rolled the stone away”

But what I’ve learned, is when you are surrounded by people who truly love like Christ loved, who are both emotionally and spiritually mature, it does not matter what path you have walked.  Like Christ, they forgive, show you mercy, and roll all stones away.

Most important, when you surround your life with Christ and His love, when you live for Him, with Him, In Him and He in You, it doesn’t matter what you faced in your past, what your present may hold, or what tomorrow may bring…because HE lives – is all you need.  He lives in us.  For us.  We can face anything.  We are washed by His blood.  Every fear gone.  I’m alive.  Amen.  I’m Alive.  I am Alive.  Because He lives.