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April 16, 2011

Thoughts on Easter

Easter is always a good time for reflection and examination. The thought of what Jesus Christ has done for me is overwhelming and brings me ultimately to the foot of the cross. What more can be done in the face of such holiness and great sacrifice? All I can do is lay my life down there as well, surrender myself, my life, all I have, and all I am or ever will be.

There can be no fruitfulness or fulfillment of our purpose until we lay our life down unto death. We spend so much time striving, building ministries, making better plans, and working harder. We don’t see that from Jesus. In his essay In Him and Over Him: The Holy Spirit in the Life of Jesus John O’Donnell says Jesus had to accept the failure of His human mission. He says “Jesus who came in the power of the Spirit to proclaim the Good News had to accept that because of the hardness of hearts of His people the kingdom could only come through the cross. And so Jesus goes to His death, tested to the utterness of His obedience, dying in the radical solitude of the sense of abandonment by His Father and without the least sign of the new creation on which He has staked His entire life” (O’Donnell, 34). Are we willing to be led by the Spirit into a testing of our obedience? That may mean we let go of the ministry that defines us and from which we draw purpose and meaning for our life. It may mean we cease our efforts and let the Holy Spirit lead us to the cross without the least sign of fruitfulness or success. Are we are willing to give back to the Holy Spirit the dreams He has put in our hearts? O’Donnell goes on to say “In the death of Jesus, the Son surrenders Himself totally to the Spirit, entrusting it to the Spirit to rescue His mission after His death” (O’Donnell, 35). I will speak for myself when I say I need  to learn how to trust the Holy Spirit with life, my hopes and dreams, and the mission God has giving me to complete. We need to learn how to be comforted by the Holy Spirit. When we feel separated from all else, the Holy Spirit is there. Just as He did with Jesus, the Father, by the power of His Spirit will resurrect our surrendered life. He will then pour out His Spirit to the world and accomplish all that He desires in and through our lives.

O’Donnell, John. 1989. In Him and Over Him: The Holy Spirit in the Life of Jesus. Pg. 25-45.