Lent Day 36: Life Out of Death
1 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
Many years ago, when I was a younger man, I was able to buy my first new car. It had the new car smell, and I was the original owner. Let me say what I didn’t know then that I know now— the new car smell does not last long, but that car payment does. So, since that first walk on the wild side of a new car, I have preferred a car with few miles on it. But for Jesus he is offering us a new covenant, without the price tag because he paid the price we could not pay.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The wonderful truth of the gospel is that God through Jesus Christ brings life out of death. No matter how bad our situations are or have been in the past, or how dire the future looks, because God is God he has come to make all things new. He sweeps away all our excuses that would want us to consider ourselves a failure and turns them around to create new possibilities, “new space for life, new energy for obedience, new waves of joy.”
While Easter reminds us that he died, Easter also reminds us that he is no longer dead. The power of the grave could not restrain him from the life of God’s power. There was no power on earth, even execution on the cross, that could keep him
1 Corinthians 15:54-57
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The gospel is a message of freedom, even freedom from death. As our world seems to create more waves of chaos and confusion, and even death, our Lord Jesus is able to bring calm through the crucifixion and his resurrection.
We have seen this from the times of Abraham and Sarah when a child and new birth seemed impossible, the children of Israel in Egyptian bondage, where hopes of freedom had turned to fatalism— the Gospel comes to bring good news of emancipation. Just like Moses at the Red Sea, Joshua at the walls of Jericho, and David and Goliath, just to name a few. The gospel comes along to offer us freedom to dance and sing a new song.
Brueggemann’s words offer us a new way on this journey of Lent. “It is the journey of relinquishment of old visions of reality that are failed and being surprised by new life given in glad, inconvenient obedience. It is to this move that the God of the gospel invites us, again and again. This God is ready to give new life, more ready, as they say, to give than we are to receive.”
“You are the God who makes a way when there is no way. Free us from our anxious intransigence and our impoverished imaginations. Open us to your newness, the gospel gift over and over and over again. Amen.” Brueggemann
Brueggemann, Walter. A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent. Kentucky: Westminster John Know Press, 2017.