Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 24:6-7 – He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again." (NIV)
As winter approaches its final death throes, I find myself yearning to "fly the coop", like a hen escaping from a chicken coop. I am tired of being cooped up inside the house or inside myriad layers of bulky clothing. Although I do get out for a good brisk walk almost every day, I long for the warmer days of spring and summer that don't require half an hour of putting on and then taking off the appropriate winter gear necessary to venture out.
Being cooped up, however, applies to many other situations besides the cabin fever which may accompany cold winter temperatures and storms. There are those who long to fly the coop from these mortal bodies which are riddled by disease or disability. Mental illness, incarceration, a difficult relationship or job situation, poverty and debt, oppression and persecution, loneliness, boredom or calamity are also all examples of things which can coop a person up, resulting in the desire to fly the coop—to leave the situation behind, and as quickly as possible.
The good news for each of us, however, is that we are not alone in this struggle, for I believe that Jesus not only understands this challenge, but has also provided an answer, allowing us to fly the coop forever, just as He did. After all, He chose to leave His home in glory for us and be born as a human being, to be cooped up within a world of sin within a mortal, fallible body, a body which could and did suffer and die, a body which, once dead, was then cooped up inside a tomb with a large stone rolled in front of the entrance so that it could not be stolen away by His disciples. Yet, three days later, He flew the coop. Up from the grave He arose, alive and well within a new body that was not fallible or mortal; a heavenly body such as the one He has promised to each of those who trust in Him as Lord and Saviour; an imperishable body such as the one in which He now resides, in heaven, where He has gone to prepare a place for us as He promised when He stated:
John 14:1-2 – Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (NIV)
In this Lenten season, if you are feeling cooped up and yearning to fly the coop for any number of reasons, rejoice! And I say it again: rejoice! For in Christ, the day shall come when flying the coop will become an eternal reality for each and every one of us who has said in belief and faith, as the apostle Peter answered when Jesus asked him, "Who do you say that I am?" And he replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16 NKJV)
Prayer: Father God, thank You that just as Jesus flew the coop of His mortal body into the glory of eternity and an imperishable body on the first Easter, at the perfect time and moment, so shall we, too, be blessed as we place our trust and faith in the Christ, Your Son Whom You sent into the world, not to condemn the world but to save the world through Him. In Christ's name, we praise and thank You. Amen.