Summary: Philip Yancey has described it as one of the ugliest words in our language. It is a word that nearly suffocates all the joy out of life. The word is irreversible. But through Jesus that which was irreversible has now been reversed.

The God Who Changes the Unchangeable

Acts 3:13-15

Philip Yancey has described it as one of the ugliest words in our language. It is a word that nearly suffocates all the joy out of life. The word is irrevers¬ible.

You know what it means for something to be irreversible do you?

It’s like the time that Trista and I were first married we took a group of kids to Six Flags. Now there is not a ride in the park that I won’t ride, drops, loops, flips, I love them all. Trista, on the other hand, likes rides that are relatively flat. For some reason that day she felt that she needed to prove how much she loved me and the best way to do that was by getting on the Mind Bender. By the time the bar came down and Trista’s nails were firmly implanted into my left arm, it was a bit too late to get off the decision was irreversible.

Maybe it was not a roller coaster; perhaps you missed the shot with two seconds to play in the district tournament. Or you turned down a job that you wish you’d taken but now is filled by someone else. At one time or another we have all been the victim of Irreversibility.

We all would like to do a few things over, wouldn’t we? Wouldn’t it be nice if real life provided a mulligan, you know those little grace shots in Golf that allow us to take the shot again?

Wouldn’t you love to re-do some things that are now irreversible?

Have you ever written some things in ink that you wish you’d have written in lead so you could erase? Aren’t there a few words you’ve spoken in anger that you wish you could retract?

Maybe you have sent a letter and later wished you could have pulled out of the mailbox? Or maybe you have experi¬enced a relationship where the sweet taste of companionship suddenly turned sour?

Irreversible - it really is an ugly word.

I remem¬ber feeling its painfulness when I was eight and we walked into the house after church, only to find out that my aunt had been hit by a drunk driver. I wished I could be like Superman, a hero who could reverse time by flying backward fast enough to change the earth’s rotation. But I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t go back and protect my aunt.

I saw its ugliness when as a junior in High School I was told that a good friend of mine committed suicide, leaving two younger brothers, his parents, and a youth group in shock, so irreversible.

Some have suffered the loss of dreams that turned upside down into nightmares: marriages made in heaven that unraveled in purgatory; victims of violent, intrusive crimes who keep wishing they could remove the horror.

Most of us could stand pain if it didn’t seem to be so relentless, so inescapable!

But there is hope because Jesus understands. When God became flesh he experienced, eyeball-¬to-eyeball, the agony of life’s irreversibility.

In Luke 7 we see Jesus approaching the town of Nain and we see that his heart was torn apart when he saw the face of that widow whose only son had died.

In John 11 He heard the tortured cry of a woman whose brother had died: "If you had been here, my brother would not have died" (John 11:21).

Nothing is more irreversible than the grave. Nothing is more hopeless and drab. The crypt tells no tales.

We have "Good Friday" written on our calendars as a memorial of the Day that the Christ died. But it became "good" only in the rearview mirror of Christian history. At the time it was the end of dreams. He was nailed to a cross, taken down, and placed in a cold, damp tomb.

When Mary, the mother of Jesus, cried at the foot of the cross, her pain so deep, she surely felt the greatest measure of hopelessness a woman can feel. Along with his cruel, unjust death, died her hopes and dreams. But this time it was reversible.

Christ is Risen

Have you ever heard the story of a man named Rollo May. He was a famous therapist, who suffered a complete nervous breakdown in his twenties. His road to recov¬ery is documented in his book, The Quest for Beauty, and he describes how that recovery involved continual encounters with beauty.

In one of the stories, he tells of a visit to a monastery on Mount Athos, a peninsula attached to Greece. One morning May happened onto the celebration of the Greek Orthodox Easter. The only light in the sanctu¬ary came from candles. The air was filled with incense. Then at the height of the Easter service, a priest gave everyone three Easter eggs that had been decorated and wrapped in a veil.

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