Beauty for Ashes, Part 1: Life for Death
Easter is really about a trade. And the truth is, God makes terrible trades.
God will trade you for it. That’s what Easter is all about.
Isaiah 61:1-1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim freedom for the captivesand release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorand the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beautyinstead of ashes,the oil of joyinstead of mourning,and a garment of praiseinstead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the Lordfor the display of his splendor.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
-Jesus intentionally points to Isaiah 61 at the very beginning of his ministry. Jesus used this passage to summarize his mission here on earth.
-We trade our broken and feeble roots and He makes us oaks.
Beauty for Ashes
-Today on Resurrection Day we can be very specific about what “beauty for ashes” means: life for death.
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
You were dead (Ephesians 2:1-3)
-If you are in Christ, He exchanges your death and gives you new life.
Experience a real life story of God exchanging beauty for ashes, trading death for new life!
Week 1 Testimony from our Beauty for Ashes series (April 2021).