And this plan reveals a God who is in control. A God who engages with us and cares for us but also a God of providence. This is the Easter story. Let's explore this.
Do you want proof that God is in control during the tough times? Proof that the world is not out of control? That your life is more than just a random stumble through hardships? Read the Bible's Romans chapter 11 from verse 33. It reveals God's ways in relating to people.
It shows His providence. It shows an interactive personal God, a God at work. It reveals a God whose work goes beyond our small minds and understanding and who is often a mystery to us. Sometimes we get a glimpse into His plan. Other times it remains a mystery.
The Bible is full of proofs of a God who is in control and is working towards a purpose. Read books like Kings or Ruth or Esther thinking about God's providence. The point is that God orchestrates all things (Romans 11 verse 36). This idea of providence (and Easter) should give us an immense view of God. It should push our view of God out without limits. God is in everything and is not limited by anything. He is free and sovereign.
Easter: The best example
Can you imagine how the disciples felt after Jesus' arrest, trial and death? The picture we see in the Bible is of a shell-shocked group that wondered why their teacher died. Yet through His death we see God's providence in the resurrection. The gospel book, Mark chapter 10 verse 45 reveals that Jesus understood His mission as being part of God's providence.
Servanthood is the theme. The King of the Universe came to serve us. How? To give His life as a sacrifice for ours. He died so we can live. This is how Jesus saw His mission. It points further back to the Old Testament servant theme: Isaiah's suffering servant (ch 53) who suffers for His people. Easter shows God is in control: from your salvation to the sparrow that falls to the ground.
All throughout the Bible God is working towards this plan. The Old Testament (e.g. Isaiah) reveals the Easter story is part of God's plan.
God's providence, the salvation of the world and you
What does God's plan and Easter have to do with me? It moves us to trust in Jesus this Easter period. Trust Him during the floods and droughts of life.
If Jesus sacrificed Himself for you (the Easter message), how much more will He continue to protect and guide you? Or another angle: Where do you go when in pain? To a God who is in control, who cares, who will bring about praise for His name through it.
Easter contains a rich and deep message. It reveals an awesome God who is in control. As you read and hear about it this Easter holiday, meditate on this concept of providence and how it impacts you.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html