1 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him.3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”
Everyone is preparing for Easter. Some are coloring eggs, buying pretty spring dresses for the girls and little blazers with snap on ties for the boys. Christians are encouraging people to look towards the cross and the empty tomb. Pastors are trying to craft a simple yet powerful word picture of the event. Worship leaders are going through their song lists trying to get enough resurrection songs in the worship set. Things tend to get busy and pretty crazy in the Western church around these kinds of holidays. The many layers of truth and all sufficient grace of our Lords perfect sacrifice can be easily lost in all of our “preparation” of Resurrection Weekend.
If you have been following these past few blog posts you know that this weekend is our public launch of RiversEnd Community Church. We really didn’t plan to launch a church on Easter Sunday, it just so happened that as we followed the Lord’s peaceable leading in preparing our own hearts and looking for the availability of a meeting place- it all built up to culminate on that day. I was very excited it worked out that way and a little nervous. My initial thoughts were how do I prepare for not just a church launch but a church launch on Easter Sunday. I began to go through all the motions of what I had been taught by traditional church over the years. I was putting together bulletins, updating website information, creating Facebook events and choosing the token “resurrection song list”. It quickly began to get overwhelming until the Lord started speaking to me in my spirit that I needed to slow down. He confirmed this feeling through my pastor who then said to me, “I want your heart to be full of God, not full of worry over things.” It was such a relief and it felt as though God was saying to my heart, “You obeyed and trusted me up to this point. I have given you all you ever need to glorify me- now fall into My rest.”
The more I fell into my Fathers rest, I thought of how Jesus prepared for the cross and tomb. It was in the passage above, John 17:1-5, I began to see how Jesus fell into the rest of His completed work. Jesus prays for himself and his prayer is very personal, very revealing and comes full circle back to where it all started in the beginning of creation. It was personal because Jesus showed his desperate dependance of His heavenly Abba. He says, “glorify your son so he may give glory back to You”. Jesus never tried to make something happen. He knew exactly who He was and who His papa is. He reveals that all the authority he has was given came from God and that all of those that followed him had been given to him. All of it building to the biggest declaration he could probably make in that moment to his disciples, that he was with the Father in the beginning of creation (John 1:1,2). What was recorded as Jesus’s longest prayer on the way to the cross, shows us how we should approach the cross and empty tomb this weekend. That is to trust in Gods preparation and that it is all so that He is glorified. That’s all we should want this Sunday and everyday of our walk with Christ until Heaven.
This weekend holds very special significance for me because while its Resurrection Sunday, I am finally doing what God called me to do when he sent my family to Texas eight years ago. Not that I haven’t tried but I just got seriously sidetracked along the way. Almost always, what God calls you too never looks the way you think it will in the beginning. Just as Jesus came to complete his Fathers work, I now begin the task He gave me so many years ago; submitting to the wonderful sons and daughters of RiversEnd and leading the Saints in worship of our Lord Jesus! In your preparation for a good Easter service this Sunday, I pray that the creator of Heaven and Earth would wreck any expectations or idea’s you have to pull off a good service and with the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit, lead you into the perfect, peaceful rest of His provision. Crucify any thought you have that says, “you have to make this Sunday special”. God wants to be glorified and He will be. Trust as Jesus did that all he ever needed and all that he was given came from his heavenly Father. Fall into the peace of God’s salvation through what He did at the cross, so that you leave the cross with only that which He has given you; so that you can give back to Him all the glory He is due!