For the One Who’s Heard the Easter Story Countless Times - Encouragement for Today - March 30, 2023
Encouragement for Today
March 30, 2023
For the One Who’s Heard the Easter Story Countless Times
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“Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” Mark 15:15 (NIV)
Growing up, I heard the gospel often. But one Easter, I remember walking into church, singing the songs, hearing the verses read … and feeling nothing.
I used to be the girl sobbing in church when the pastor explained the gospel, feeling the Spirit during worship. But then, without me even realizing it, the Good News suddenly felt like old news. I could go through the motions of Easter and never take more than five minutes to thank God.
Not only that, but sin had become more common for me. Overlooking the gospel caused me to overlook peace, conviction and joy. My selfish living was causing me restlessness.
Many of us can acknowledge we have heard the gospel countless times. Many of us have heard that the Son of God was sent as a servant, and although He was flawless, He took on the punishment we deserve. Because He was a perfect sacrifice and suffered death on a cross, we can finally be forgiven. Three days later, His tomb was empty. He defeated death and was resurrected from the grave, so now we have the opportunity to believe in His death and resurrection and spend eternity in heaven.
Or maybe you have never heard this before — and if that’s the case, I invite you to read the gospel by starting in the book of John. And I invite you to accept Christ as your Savior and decide to follow Him!
This message changed my life. However, in the midst of a busy life, errands and daily duties at work or school, I became numb to it. Suddenly, hearing and believing the gospel became something I put on my to-do list but easily skipped over.
Is this true for you right now? Maybe you kind of know Jesus, at least in your head, but when temptation is too strong in your heart, you give in. When the world is loud, you listen to it over your Savior.
When I felt this way toward the gospel, I remember reading Mark 15 and relating to Pontius Pilate. He was the governor who made the official order for Jesus to be crucified — not because he thought Jesus was bad or deserved this punishment but because the crowd wanted Jesus dead.
“Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” (Mark 15:15)
I’m not the governor of anything, and the only thing I’m in charge of is bringing the mac and cheese to Easter brunch (which I like to believe is a big duty) … but like Pilate, I have denied Jesus publicly. And I’ve listened to the crowd over the man who came to save my soul. Because frankly it isn’t always convenient to stand by Him, right?
When we feel numb to the cross, it’s often because we’re distracted, and through our daily choices, we’re denying Jesus as our Savior and listening to the crowd. There may not be a crowd yelling at us to crucify Jesus, but each day, we reside in a world that shouts lies about our Savior and our identity in Him. And without even realizing it, we begin to believe these lies.
Jesus isn’t just a “good guy” — He’s our Savior, worthy of all praise and attention. We were made for a relationship with Him, a consistent prayer life with Him, and a committed practice of reading His Word. Even in the busyness of our lives, we must tend to our relationship with Jesus. Only then will our hearts thaw to the gospel.
So if you feel restless and the gospel has become old news, stop what you’re doing and talk to Jesus honestly. Pray for conviction and a heart that doesn’t get distracted by the crowd. Add prayer time and worship to your routine, and walk with faithful friends who daily point you to Jesus, even when the crowd is loud.
Dear God, remind me this Easter not to let myself become numb to the gospel. Please soften my heart and allow me to remember all You’ve done for me and all You continue to do. Help me to remember Your power this Easter. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Grace Valentine, the writer of today’s devotion, has a new devotional book for young women coming out this spring: To the Girl Looking for More: 90 Devotions to Help You Ditch the Lies, Love Yourself, and Live Big for God. This could be the perfect gift for you or a young woman in your life. Preorder today, and check out Grace’s Instagram to find out about her preorder incentives.
For more encouragement from Grace, follow her on Instagram @thegracevalentine. Her website is www.gracevalentine.org.
If you’re new to the gospel and want to learn more about Jesus, we’re here to help you! Find out more on this page at our website.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV)
How does Jesus’ resurrection impact you? When you feel numb to the cross, what can you do to reflect on the gift of God’s grace? We’d love to know in the comments!
© 2023 by Grace Valentine. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106