1 Peter 1:1-21; Mark 16:1-20
It Just Keeps Getting Better
As I said in the introduction, Easter isn’t just for Easter Sunday; we have seven weeks and one day! Then again, every Sunday is Easter Sunday, for Sunday is the eighth day – the day on which our Lord rose from the dead, redeemed his people, and renewed the world. How fortunate we are! How wonderful it is to live on this side of the cross!
The passage for today says as much. The prophets of the old covenant searched diligently, inquiring about the person and time of the appearing of Christ, his sufferings and his glories. In so doing, they were serving us, providing us with their prophecies – the Spirit-breathed writings of the Old Testament that found their fulfillment in Christ. Even angels stand in awe of the wonderful plan of redemption that God has wrought through His Son.
It is this revelation of God in Christ that the apostles and other New Testament writers never lose sight of. Epistles open by telling us that the writer (e.g., Peter or Paul) is an apostle or servant of Jesus Christ. They end with benedictions in the name of Christ. Everything in between is about Christ – the salvation he has wrought and the life we are now able to live in him. The New Testament answers every question of the Old Testament with the person and work of Jesus Christ, for he is its fulfillment, the One to whom the Scriptures pointed from Genesis to Malachi.
Peter reminds us in the first chapter of his letter what is a constant refrain throughout the New Testament – that our salvation is not our work but God’s, through the resurrection of His Son. He tells us that this work of His Son on our behalf is so powerful and effective that its rewards for believers are permanent and enduring. For God would have us never forget that the sacrifice his Son made for us was no trivial matter, no passing fancy. Good Friday was the day heaven and earth shook, and Easter Sunday the day that heaven and earth were reborn. That holy weekend is the axis upon which the universe turns, and God is not about to let the work that was accomplished those three days on our behalf be watered down by probabilities. We have been saved not with gold or silver but with the precious blood of Christ; therefore, our reward is secure. And now that we have been born of the Spirit, we can accomplish what the law written on tablets of stone could not; namely, serving the Lord in the splendor of holiness. We have been redeemed, and though that is not the end of the story, it guarantees the story’s end, and we shall live happily ever after.