The weight of the world
Each and every flaw?
The heavy burdens
We carry around
At once made light
Per a thorny crown.
The distress, anxiety
Depression and guilt
The unbelief, denial
The common ills.
You took it on
Never giving in
Til it was finished
And death met its end.
Oh happy day
Such day is this!
We are above,
Are always His!
Why the echo of Eden
Follows us about
As sin’s destiny
Is played out.
Though sin, this sickness,
Scourges the earth
Those in Christ await
A greater birth.
For the promise given
Of a heavenly home
Is as sure as the Cross,
And is our own.
So that’s what I want to ask you this morning: What if it’s true that Christ rose from the dead; that he will never die again and death has no dominion over him so that he is the Lord of the universe; that by faith we are united to him in his death and rise with him to live forever? What if it is true—not just like radio facts out there somewhere, but like the truth as heard in the mouth of a screaming child that suddenly, in a moment, changes everything?
Let me just get you started from the Bible:
If it’s true, . . .
. . . the power of death is broken, and the root of bondage, the fear of death is severed, and we can be freed;
. . . you don’t need to get to the top in order to get to be a success;
. . . you don’t need to run away from trouble and live in fear that he who has the most toys wins;
. . . you can rejoice in persecution for righteousness’ sake for great is your reward in heaven;
. . . every loss you endured for the kingdom will be made up to you a thousand-fold;
. . . there is no ultimate risk in the cause of truth and love; nothing can defeat you;
. . . the decay of your body is prelude to glory;
. . . you will be made completely whole with no impurity and no struggle with lust or greed or covetousness or fear or inferiority or cowardice or painful memories or paralyzing shame;
. . . there will be no mourning or crying or tears or pain for the former things will pass away;
. . . swords will be turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks and war will be no more;
. . . every injustice will be rectified and every evil will be recompensed and every wrong made right;
. . . and those who are in Christ will rise with him never to die again, and God will be our God and we will be his people, and the glory of the Lord will be our light and our joy forever.
The witness of God in Scripture, the witness of all the martyrs and all the people of God for two thousand years, is that these things are indeed so.2 Let your response be a life of faith and love and joy and praise.
1 C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1967, p. 10.
2 For my effort to show the good reasons that you can accept these claims as true see Appendix 2, “Is the Bible a Reliable Guide to Lasting Joy?” in Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, Portland: Multnomah Press, 1986, pp. 239–250.
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org