A Celebration of Freedom from a Servant Leader

The First Servant Leader

Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes, but most literature on leadership tells us that the best leaders are servants. Of course, Jesus defines servant leadership. He led his disciples and even washed their feet. He also inspired, fed, challenged, encouraged, occasionally rebuked and ultimately equipped them to lead.

And the effects of His leadership were powerful. Consider that all of His apostles except one, died for the cause He established. Beyond that millions over millennia have received faith, forgiveness, hope, healing and an eternal blessing through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Some History on Easter

On Sunday we celebrate Easter, the most sacred event of Christianity. Ironically, the actual name “Easter” comes from pagan celebrations. In fact, many pagan customs were combined with Christian resurrection traditions and became symbols of the resurrection of Jesus.

That said, the essence of Easter is not about Easter eggs, candy or the Easter Bunny. Those are all fun traditions, but they are unrelated to the main event. We actually celebrate the power and benevolence of the resurrection. Those effects are manifest in the many transformed lives and positive changes witnessed for more than two millennia in families, communities and countries.

Evidence for the Resurrection

True, critics argue that the resurrection of Jesus and even His existence are mythology. However, there’s so much evidence to the contrary that serious scholars don’t even consider those options.

Beyond Biblical accounts, many non-Christian sources testify to the existence of Jesus. Consider the writings of Josephus the Jewish historian, Tacitus the Roman historian, Mara Bar-Serapion the philosopher and Pliny the Younger the Roman Governor to name a few.

My friend, Dr. Gary Habermas, has devoted most of his academic career to studying the resurrection of Jesus. He notes that there are five historical facts about Christ on which there is virtual consensus among all ancient Historians. Three of these facts include the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

The death and burial of an innocent man by scourging and crucifixion are what we remember during Lent. We deny ourselves to reflect on His sacrifice for us. Yet, that wasn’t the end. The victorious resurrection is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday and every Sunday.

Good News for Everyone

Why celebrate? Because by faith in that victory through which our sins, and the sins of the world were poured out on Jesus, we receive forgiveness, peace and everlasting life. That truly is the Good News of the Gospel both for you and for me!

During this glorious season I am compelled to tell you that through faith, I too have received God’s wonderful grace! Not that I would have ever deserved it, but through God’s unmerited favor I’ve been forgiven and freed indeed!

I am freed to repent from sin’s great plague inherited at life’s start, freed to escape from the heavy burdens that resided within my heart, freed to forgive in thanks for God’s grace and freed from the judgment He took in my place, freed to live and free to die and free forever in Christ to abide.

Best of all, I’m freed to experience the new life in Christ through the amazing grace and forgiveness God has provided. This new life is directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Who enables me to overcome the challenges I face. But the Holy Spirit is also a guarantee of all that I will continue to receive forever in Christ.

That’s why I’m eternally grateful and I celebrate this victorious resurrection of Jesus! What does all of it mean? At the expense of extending this blog a little longer than usual, I will include a resurrection perspective from Tim Keller, one of my favorite authors:

A Perspective From Tim Keller

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

Of course, Keller’s point is simple. If the Resurrection didn’t occur, then everything else about Christianity can be ignored because the Christian faith rests on that single occurrence. In fact, the Apostle Paul told us that if the resurrection didn’t occur then our faith is in vain and we are to be most pitied.

However, if Jesus did live and He was actually raised from the dead (a fact to which over 500 witnesses attested) then He merits our attention, our worship and our obedience.

Finally, during this season I offer that glorious Paschal greeting: “He is risen; He is risen indeed!” To you and yours, I send my warmest greetings in Christ for a happy and holy Easter!