A blog by Josh Humbert
April is month of new life.
Not just new life for flowers, trees, plants, and anything green…but for me as well. On April 19, 1987, an Easter Sunday in a church in Jacksonville, Florida, I was born again. I was five and a half years old and I remember the Sunday school teacher talking about Jesus and what He had done on the Cross and how He rose again. Wearing a very 1980’s Hawaiian print shirt and tears rolling down my cheeks, I went forward and prayed with the pastor and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and save me. New life! Eternal life! “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” –2 Corinthians 9:15
April is a month for new life.
Not just new life for flowers, trees, plants, and anything green…but for my son as well. On April 6, 2009, at 8:19pm, my wife Jessica gave birth to Caleb Thomas Humbert. Many believe that the English language has more words than any language, and yet….you could hand me the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary and in all it’s thousands of pages, I could not find adequate words to express how incredible it is to hold my son in my arms and have his little eyes look back at me and blink slowly. What a gift from God!
The second night after delivery, Jessica, Caleb, and I were still at the hospital. It was time for lil’ Caleb to have a PKU-test, which apparently is where they poke his little foot and squeeze blood out. Well, as the nurse wheels Caleb back into our room, she tells of how “he didn’t enjoy it,” (as if there are babies who WOULD enjoy getting their foot stabbed?? Look, my kid isn’t emo!). She leaves the room and Jessica and I are just devastated as we see Caleb looking directly at us with tears still fresh in his eyes and a face that says, “I’ve been hurt and I’m scared.” I quickly pick him up, hand him to mom, and we all three just sat on her bed. Just the three of us. A new little family huddled together.
Later that night, as I lay on the roll-out bed in the hospital room, I was thinking of how quickly my love for Caleb became so fierce. I’ve known the little guy just a day and yet, seeing him with tears in his eyes and in pain, I was ready to go to Medieval…nay! Not just Medieval….I was ready to go in any era you might choose: Paleolithic, Stone Age, Industrial Revolution, Generation X, New Coke………..Whatever you wanna call it. When I saw my son in pain, I was ready to battle!
And that got me to thinking even more…and I came to realize in a whole new way:
April is a month of new life….
April and every other month is a month of new life….because of a brutal death.
Thinking on how fiercely I loved my son, I think I got just a small glimpse into how God might’ve felt sending Jesus down to earth. Perhaps the most well-known verse of the Bible rang even more true for me that night:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” —John 3:16
How could God do it? I sit looking at my son and I cannot think of any situation where I would offer him up on someone else’s behalf? How could God send Jesus Christ, the Perfect and Sinless Son of God down to earth on a mission to lay down His life? How could a Father send a Perfect Son to an excruciating, bloody, and brutal Cross in the place of a wretched and disgusting sinner like me? Further, how could it “please Him,” to do this? (Isaiah 53)
To say that our sins are offensive to God is putting it mildly. That we can choose something earthly, temporal, and fleshly over the satisfaction of knowing and loving God is infinitely foolish of us. Our sins are real, and it is a BIG deal (Romans 6:23). A just God must deal with our sins. He cannot sweep this under the rug and just welcome us with open arms. He is Holy. Our EVERY sin must be dealt with.
And so, His Son was sent to become our sins.
“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” –2 Corinthians 5:21
The Father sent His Son to take our place to pay a debt we had no means of paying. For He so loved the world that He gave His only Son! He gave Jesus to BE our sin for us, so that we might enjoy fellowship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Indeed, new life is available to all who choose to believe on Jesus. At the Cross, the consuming wrath of God towards all our sins met the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. Salvation is available to those who will choose to believe, love, and worship Jesus.
And it didn’t stop there. April is a month for new life because of a Sunday in April many years ago when life arose from death.
Jesus rose from death and the grave. He isn’t some statue or just an idea. Indeed, His death and resurrection are THE key moments in all of history, as even today, our concept of time is marked by His life, death, and resurrection.
He was dead and buried in a borrowed tomb and He rose again on that Sunday morning. Jesus is victorious over sin and death and He is alive today and seated with God in the heavens(Mark 16:19, Acts 2:33, Acts 5:31). I worship a Risen King who is Victorious and who will be Victorious forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, etc. He stands triumphantly now and He offers us SO much in Himself, but I’ll name just a few things here such as :
Salvation (John 3:15-17),
Hope (Psalm 42:11),
Peace (Psalm 4:7-8),
Instruction (Psalm 1),
Assurance (1 John 5:13),
Joy (Isaiah 61),
and Love (1 John 3:1) to those who will treasure Him and worship Him above all else. It is all about Jesus!
As Easter draws near this year, I hope that you see Jesus as worthy of living and dying for. I hope that you choose Him over anything else. Perhaps you do believe and you’ve been saved, but your passion has dimmed. Sin, troubles, hard times, or even comfort have made it hard to see how awesome Jesus is. I hope that you would read His Word again and find a new passion to worship and love Him more fervently than ever before.
I hope April is a month of new life for you as well.
The next morning in the hospital, I watched Caleb while Jessica got to shower. While she was in the shower, I sat with my son. I patted his blonde hair and let him try and squeeze my fingers with his tiny hands. As I sat there with lil’ Caleb, I talked with him (and I knew he could hear me since he had just passed his hearing test!). I spoke to him about Jesus Christ and what He has done. I told him about the Cross and the Empty Tomb. I told Him about God’s extravagant love and how salvation would be available to him because of what happened in April such a long time ago. He just looked at me and moved his arms and legs the way that babies do, and I knew he didn’t understand it all yet, but that’s ok. It won’t be the last time this new father tells his son about Jesus.
Remember the Cross and what it means.
Remember the Tomb and how it is empty.
Celebrate Jesus Christ this Easter!