Posted on Sunday, Apr 10, 2022 by Scott Savage
Do you have something in your house that doesn’t work right, so you’ve created a work-around and gotten used to it?
When I was a kid, we had a TV with one of those knobs that you twisted to different channels. We didn’t have a remote control - we were the remote control!
There was a knob that turned the TV on and off. One day, that knob came all the way off and wouldn’t go back on! I don’t remember who broke it, my brother or me, but we needed a new solution.
My dad wasn’t going to buy a new TV, so he created a work-around. We started turning the TV on and off using a pair of needle-nose pliers. We would use the pliers to grab a piece of metal and pull it to turn on the TV and push it in to turn the TV off. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked, and we got used to it.
A year later, my aunt came to visit. We sat down to watch a show, and we got up to get the pliers to turn on the TV. We heard a yelp behind us. "What are you doing?!" My aunt was appalled at our work-around. Later that week, when she took my brother and I out for dinner and a movie, we stopped by an electronics store so that she could buy us a new TV. The new TV didn't require a pair of pliers, and it even had a remote control! We thought we had died and gone to heaven!
Do you have a version of our needle-nose pliers? Is there a place in your life where you’ve created a work-around and become used to living with something that is less than ideal?
When that work-around is related to turning on a TV, it seems shallow and inconsequential. But, many of our work-arounds are much more profound and consequential. When we have a "pair of pliers" situation in our relationships, it can take someone exclaiming, "What are you doing?!" to help us see where we need a new and better way.
Beginning a relationship with Jesus can provoke a profound shift in our perspective related to our life. Jesus offers us a better way that exposes the inadequacy of the way we’ve been living. He invites us to not just experience a better way; He invites us to a new life.
In John 3, Jesus instructs one of the primary teachers of Israel, a man named Nicodemus. “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” When Nicodemus struggled to comprehend what Jesus said, Jesus continued to teach him. “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’”
To see the new thing that Jesus was doing - announcing the nearness and availability of the Kingdom of God - you had to have new eyes. Jesus was inviting Nicodemus to experience His kingdom, but he had to be born again to do so. The new birth was the beginning of understanding and experiencing who Jesus was and what He came to do in the world.
This is the kind of fresh start that Easter is all about. The reality of Jesus' resurrection and its impact on us takes time to comprehend. Even the closest followers of Jesus didn't immediately compute the resurrection. Two disciples walked with Jesus for miles without realizing who he was.
Eventually, though, the reality of the resurrection sank in for them. As reality sank in, questions arose that Jesus began to answer - helping them to understand what they had missed earlier and enabling them to know what to do next.
As Easter comes and goes and we think about what happens next, I think it might be helpful for us to ask some questions. These questions could help us recognize where we have not yet entered fully into the reality of the resurrection of Jesus and our experience of resurrection through faith in him. Consider these three questions.
The truth is what cannot be named cannot be healed. Until we name the places we’ve yet to consciously experience resurrection power in making something new, then we won't experience the fullness of what Jesus has for us.
On the other side of that kind of transformation lies an incredible view. @Phil Wickham sings about that kind of view in his song, “Where I’m Standing Now.” He sings,
I wonder what lies on the other side of resurrection in your future. Because of what Jesus has done in the empty tomb, conquering death and the grave, you can be standing in a place you might not believe is possible today. The reality you’ve accepted doesn’t have to be the reality you experience forever.
I hope you experience the power of the resurrection. Certainly on Easter, but long after Easter too.
Scott Savage is a pastor and a writer with the coolest last name ever. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona. Scott is married to Dani and they are the parents of three “little savages.” He helps hurting people forgive others through his Free to Forgive course and you can read more of his writing at scottsavagelive.com.
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