Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Job 12:7a – But ask the animals, and they will teach you. (NIV)
I'll never forget one Easter morning in my childhood. My dad carried our pet rabbit into the house and let it roam freely on the breakfast table. We siblings gleefully watched our cuddly pet hop amongst bowls of coloured eggs. That was our very own Easter Bunny!
In pagan tradition, bunnies and eggs symbolize the approaching season of new life. Christians can take this a step further. In fact, we must! We must acknowledge the Creator, using created things as visual aids to reveal "God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature". (Romans 1:20 NIV) "Ask the animals," says Job, "and they will teach you."
Today, I'm doing just that. In my imagination, I'm asking my childhood pet to teach me something about God's eternal power and divine nature — as displayed in Christ's resurrection. I'm reclaiming that Easter Bunny for God's purposes — as He would want.
In my earlier years, I often wondered, what if Christ were never resurrected? What difference should Jesus' resurrection make in the Christian's life? It seemed that Christ's death was the emphasis; His resurrection was essentially a historic event celebrated at Easter. Yet, Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life." (John 11:25a NIV) Jesus was teaching her that the resurrection was not just an event — when her dead brother Lazarus would rise again. Jesus wanted Martha to see Himself as the Resurrection and the Life — her Life. Likewise, for you and me: Christ is to be our Resurrection — our very Life itself.
Our pet rabbit surely teaches that! For it, like all creatures, was raised out of lifeless dust. It is God who lifts the creatures out of the chaotic quagmire, up to a mighty height: to magnificent life itself. It is God who sustains their every living breath.
That's how it is for us who are birthed into His Resurrection Life. It means that, spiritually, we dwell in Him, in His Resurrection Life — where He is seated far above all rule and authority, above all evil forces. In Him, we are lifted above the chaotic quagmire of sin and death, sustained by His eternal power.
That truth uplifts me immensely, for from this high and lofty position in Him, I can look down onto my own situation, my uncertainties, and my fears, and I can maintain a living hope.
Besides, from this lofty position, I can see all created things shouting out His Resurrection Life! Regardless of what others do with them, I can confidently reclaim them all for God's glory — as I've done with our bunny.
Prayer: Lord, "My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay. … Though Satan's darts at me are hurled … my prayer, my aim is higher ground," Your Resurrection Life — that is the higher plane which I desire. "Lord, plant my feet on higher ground!" Amen. (Johnson Oatman Jr.)