COVER STORY – EASTER
” . . . the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:18-20)
According to the Vision Council of America, seventy-five percent of American adults wear some kind of corrective lenses for their eyesight. Glasses or contact lenses are an indispensable aid for many to overcome nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or other vision problems. A statistic that is even more startling is the one that Jesus relates in the Gospel of Luke: fully one hundred percent of the world’s population sees through spiritual “lenses” of one kind or another: “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.” (Luke 11:34)
There are many millions of people throughout the world whose natural eyes see reasonably well and who consider their minds to be enlightened, but their hearts are actually dark. The worshipers of Allah or Vishnu, the followers of Buddha, and your neighbor who is “spiritual but not religious” all have this in common: they hope to improve themselves enough so that the afterlife will be better than this one. And many of these people of other faiths—or no faith at all—are brilliant in their own ways. Yet they’re wearing the wrong glasses, and they don’t even know it. Paul describes them as those “whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
It is only when the Holy Spirit fits us with the “resurrection glasses” of faith in the risen Savior that true spiritual light floods our hearts. Knowing with confidence that Jesus willingly went forward to His self-sacrificial death, claimed the power to rise in triumph from the grave, and DID it—this is the God-given lens through which everything becomes crystal clear. We see, as Paul writes in Ephesians 1 above, “the hope of His calling . . . the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” and “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
Just how powerful are these enlightening lenses? They show us that faith itself is a mighty miracle of God, the same as “the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.” With our powerful resurrection glasses we now see everything differently:
• We see ourselves differently, as wretched sinners who have been fully forgiven in Christ.
• We see others around us differently, as those who are also redeemed and in need of God’s truth.
• We see our life’s purpose differently: not to achieve our own goals but those of our loving God.
• We see our final destination differently: not the grave, but the eternal mansion our Lord has gone to prepare for us.
“Blessed are your eyes, for they see,” Jesus said in Matthew 13:16. Don’t forget, though, that God wants the light He has shown in you to shine through you, as well! Be sure to share the light that brings into clear focus the great need that everyone has for a Savior, the great love of our crucified Lord, and the promise that we will rise to life eternal as He did. In that way God’s Word will come true in your life: “The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)
Bruce Naumann is senior pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.