This is always an exciting time of the year. The snow has melted, the birds are chirping, and Spring has finally come. For those of us in Minnesota, the temperature is above freezing, and the extended sunlight is encouraging us to venture out of our homes (aka our hibernation tanks) to enjoy the outdoors.
It is fitting that this seasonal change—for us in the Northern hemisphere—occurs during the same time of the year that the global Church gathers together to remember the life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior. With winter fading away, and new life on the horizon, we have an amazing opportunity to reflect and share about the new life that is found only through Christ.
I am often astonished at how Christ would willingly lay down (and take up) his life for us. He did not do this under coercion or under any obligation to us. Rather, he willingly walked the road to Calvary to pay a debt that we could never afford. New life is possible only because of God’s great mercy and grace (see Ephesians 2:4–7).
As my family prepares for Easter Sunday, I am taken aback by the following text:
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day. (Matthew 20:17–19).
In this text, Matthew shows us that Jesus is in absolute control. He knows exactly what is going to take place before it occurs. Frankly, this text is mind-boggling. Jesus knows exactly what is about to happen to him and yet he never waivers on his mission to ultimately reconcile sinful people to God.
The resurrection is a joyous proclamation that we have a Savior who is alive and well. You cannot go visit his grave today, nor can you attempt to “dig up” his bones. Why? Because he is alive and “is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV).
I am comforted in knowing that we serve a God who is not swayed by people, nor does he need us in any way. There is absolutely nothing that we can do to change any outcome that God decrees. As you prepare for Easter Sunday, be comforted by Jesus’ words:
No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay [my life] down of my own accord. I have authority to lay [my life] down, and I have authority to take [my life] up again. This charge I have received from my Father (John 10:18).
Would you join me in praying for our college students, seminary students, and faculty as we spend Easter with our family and friends? Specifically, would you pray that we would take to the wonderful and glorious truths that we are learning about and let them overflow into conversations with those we encounter this Easter?
Rob Gangnon Second Year Seminary Student
Scott Anderson’s Message at Chapel,
March 17, 2016: “Then Shall Your Light Break Forth Like the Dawn”
Join us for our weekly Chapel Service on Thursday, March 31st, 12:45-1:45pm, featuring Greg Mott speaking on ministry to Native Americans.
1. Please pray for our students and faculty as they celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus this Easter week! This coincides with our Spring Break and is a much needed time away for many as they visit family and friends. Pray for rest and for sweet times of fellowship and worship together with their families.
2. Please join us in praising the Lord for granting us clearance with the Homeland Security Department of the US so that we can now begin accepting international students into our programs. This has taken over a year to become approved, but we are grateful for this and look forward to seeing how this new status might be used to further the gospel.
3. Please keep praying for the faculty hiring process going on right now. We have three positions to fill and we are asking the Lord to bring us just the right individuals who will be great additions to the faculty and who will advance the mission of the school for many years to come.
4. Please keep praying for our finances as well. God has been so gracious to us so far. However, our need for Serious Joy scholarships persists and we are praying that the Lord would allow us to meet this need completely in the next few weeks.