Easter Sunday, April 4
Over the season of Lent we’ve been focusing on what our lives would be like if we lived in light of the gospel. We’ve asked the question, “How would be life be different if I believed, really believed, that the good news of Jesus is true for me?” That is a good question for us to ask on Easter Sunday. Jesus’ rising reveals that we follow a mighty Savior who has robbed sin and death of their power! What would our lives look like if we lived in light of that reality? What kinds of things would we do differently? There are probably countless answers to that question, but I have three that I want to share.
One, we let the old, dead things in our lives die. The apostle Paul wrote about Jesus’ resurrection as an in-breaking of the new age of God, replacing and shutting out the old age of sin and rebellion. And Paul connected that to how we should live our lives in the present. He wrote,
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)
You know those old patterns and habits in our lives that we used to engage in-the ones that never really satisfied our hearts? Let’s toss them. Let’s let them die. We have new life in Jesus and he is the treasure of our hearts! So if there are things in our lives that compete with Jesus, things that have no life for us, let’s let them die.
Two, we focus on the riches that we have in Jesus. Years ago, Stephen Covey coined the terms “abundance mentality” and “scarcity mentality”. He was referring to life in a corporate context, but I think those are appropriate terms for our walk with Jesus Christ. It is so easy for us to live with fear of what will be taken away from us. It is so easy to live with a deep anxiety that God does not care for us. It is so easy to lose sight of the tremendous riches that we have in Jesus.
The promise and power of the Resurrection is that it proves to us that God is for us. Imagine the power of living our lives asking, “If God is for me, who can be against me?” and knowing deep in our bones that the answer is “no one”! Regardless of the circumstances that we are facing, we can know that we live with the abundance of God’s favor and love for us. We live with the abundance of freedom from the punishment for sin, freedom from the power of sin, and the freedom of new life in Jesus Christ. We live with the abundance of the Holy Spirit in us and working for us. When we finally understand that God is by our side, it changes everything.
Three, we live confidently that God has great things planned for us. One of the remarkable things about the resurrection accounts is how clueless those first disciples were. Even though Jesus had said numerous times, “I am going to be arrested, killed, and then raised on the third day”, after the crucifixion they were still devastated. They simply couldn’t conceive that God could bring about anything good from such a shameful, horrible death. And yet, God not only brought about something good, but God brought about the redemption and salvation of the entire creation.
What does that tell us? We can know that God has big, glorious plans for us and for our church. If we but listen to God’s voice and surrender to God’s will, we can know that God will lead us into something far more glorious than anything we could conceive.
An amazing thing happened on that first Easter morning. Let’s live as if we believe that is so!
Prayer: Lord, help me to rejoice continually in Your glorious and triumphant victory over death! Help me to live in light of that victory. Help me to know in a new way that Your victory is my victory. Help me to live by it, in it, and for it. And help me to be grateful to You, because You are so good. In Your name I pray, Amen.
Clint McBroom
photo courtesy of Leigh Anne Butler