Just this past Sunday we had the amazing opportunity and privilege to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that our Savior, who sacrificed and died for us, to save and redeem us from our sin, did not stay dead. No! The one who is the author of life, who is life, defeated death and walked out of the grave! What an incredible thing it is to say that Life died so that we, lost in Death, might live with Him. It’s truly staggering. It was really cool to get to celebrate that this year in a new and different way with our drive-in service, and I know that I will not forget this year, and the celebration of Life from Death in the middle of a pandemic.
Now, on the other side of Easter, as is usually the case with any holiday or big event, we tend to move back into our “regularly scheduled programing,” quasi-forgetting about the reason for celebration until next year. Well, this year there is no “regularly scheduled programing.” Everything is upended and different, so I figured, why not take the time to dwell a bit more on Christ’s Resurrection and what it means to us.
Christ’s death was necessary, without question. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Jesus prayed to His Father that if there was ANY other way to obtain salvation for humanity that that “other way” be the path they took, but there wasn’t. He had to die, and in so doing He fulfilled the law, closed out the contract, paid all debt. It was finished.
But, then he rose again, and that Resurrection is just as vital for us. Paul tells us that “…if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. … And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” When Christ rose he established a new covenant, a new “ministry,” a new connection between God and man, and when he rose to life from death, we (those in Christ, who have accepted the new life that He offers) did the same.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” — Romans 6:4
In Christ, we are resurrected to something new and, as Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 3, immensely glorious. His death settled the score, paid the price, but His resurrection joins us to Him in an unrecognizable new existence in which we are free and transformed.
So my question is this, what are you doing with your new life? Christ’s death was not the end of the story, but neither was His resurrection. It was the beginning of our new life in Him, so what does that new life look like in you?
In some ways we are going through a period of death right now. Illness, death, fear, isolation are rampant across the globe in a tangible way. We will emerge on the other side of all this, but I hope we don’t return to normal. Just as when Christ emerged from the tomb, there was the opportunity for life to never be the same for those who embraced His new life, I think we have a great opportunity now to radically change our lives, our church, our neighborhoods, our ministries, our world. Everything could be unrecognizably different in a few months, in a good way. I challenge you to spend the time that we have now to seek the transformation that God would make in your life, both on a personal level and a corporate level, whether that corporate level is church, job, school, family, society, etc… And, on a personal level, God didn’t come back to life so that you could continue living your normal life.
In a quote from Ted Dekker’s book “The 49th Mystic” one of the characters, a representation of those who do not know Christ, says, “I am blind, Your Grace. But only to the difference between Elyonites and Horde. My skin is different and I don’t follow your deity, but in every other respect, I am just a man who loves women and children and all innocent creatures. Why would I seek a life like yours if it is no different or greater than the one our high priest, Ba’al, offers?”
Let’s be different. Let’s be new. We are risen in Christ, so let’s walk in newness of life and radically change this world for our risen Savior!