“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10b (ESV)
We’ve all experienced loss at some point or another. But the collective loss we all feel as we grapple with COVID-19 is what makes this time in our lives like nothing we’ve known before.
During this Easter season, many of us find ourselves dealing with the loss of income, mobility, and control. And on top of it all is the threat of losing our health, as well as the impact on family and friends.
Every conversation and interaction points to our shared loss. Countless stories have been documented over the last few weeks of individuals being forced to miss out on special events. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities—weddings, graduations, milestone anniversaries—gone in one fell swoop.
Even more sobering are the countless stories of individuals enduring their final moments on this earth alone and isolated.
I’ve been thinking a lot about people in the Bible who suffered great loss. Just look at what happened to the Lord’s servant, Job. God permitted Job’s health, wealth, and family to be stripped away.
But there’s another story in the Bible of a man who endured just as much, if not greater, loss than Job. His name is Noah. Most people associate Noah with his obedience. And although obedience is a significant part of Noah’s story, I’ve come to appreciate Noah for his example of trust.
At no other point in history has there been such widespread loss as was experienced in Noah’s day. Genesis 6:5-8, 18-19 explains it this way:
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.”
And the Lord said to Noah, “I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you…”
Sin had escalated to epic proportions, so God decided to send a great flood to destroy the entire earth. But because Noah walked with the Lord (Genesis 6:9), God established a covenant with him. God promised to spare Noah’s life, but Noah would have to trust God’s plan. The plan was for Noah to build an ark, a floating vessel, which would save him and his family.
Let’s be clear. The ark was a symbol of God’s covenant with Noah, a mechanism used to rescue and preserve Noah’s life. By stepping through the door of the ark, Noah accepted God’s deliverance (Genesis 7:13).
Similarly, God has established a covenant with us. In fact, Easter is about celebrating that covenant. John 3:16 reminds us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The true and living God of the universe is so consistent. So steadfast. Thousands of years ago, He provided a way for Noah to be saved. Today, He provides a way for us to be saved. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And in John 10:9-10 Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Jesus is the only way we can be saved. He is the only way for us to experience abundant life in the midst of loss. If we seek comfort or refuge in anything but Jesus, we will forsake God’s plan of restoration for our lives.
Our Easter celebrations may look different this year, but the reality is that Easter hasn’t changed. Loss is not the last word. Death is not the last word. The last word is the covenant that God established with us through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
To those who’ve placed their trust in Jesus, Easter is about gaining more than we could ever lose. Because of Christ’s resurrection power, we live and are promised abundant life in the face of loss.
To those who haven’t placed their trust in Jesus, today is a good day to make that commitment—to walk through the door of salvation, just like Noah did. It’s not hard. It just takes a step of faith. Noah wasn’t spared from death because he was perfect. He was spared because he trusted in something greater than himself and took a step of faith that changed the course of his life.
All it takes is a confession that you are a sinner who falls short of the standards of a Holy God, followed by an acceptance of Jesus as the Lord of your life. Why Jesus? Because He bore our sin by dying a gruesome death on a cross. Jesus incurred the wrath of God on our behalf and transferred His righteousness to us. More than that, Jesus did not remain dead. He conquered sin. He conquered death. He conquered loss. And he rose after three days. All so we could have eternal life and ultimately, eternal fellowship with Him.
God restored Noah. The floodwaters receded and eventually, he and his family made it onto dry land. Not only did Noah and his family survive, but they went on to live abundant lives. “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’” (Genesis 9:1).
During these days of immense suffering and loss, let’s not forget that God provided a way to restore us too…Easter hasn’t changed!
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My friend, if you’ve made a decision today to step through the door of salvation, please share that with me in my contact form. I would love to send you a word of encouragement as you begin this new journey with Jesus.