On Easter morning we’d wake up to find colorful hard boiled eggs all over our tiny dining room and living room. Daddy would hide them over and over again to the delight of my sister, Diane and me. We’d find one behind a figurine, in a tea cup or behind sheet music on the upright piano. Then, after breakfast, we’d excitedly change into our fancy Easter dresses and hats and drive downtown to church. We’d scoot into a pew in the grand and beautiful historic Presbyterian church in Mobile, Alabama. I’d thrill to the sound of the loud melodious organ playing Jesus Christ is risen today, Hallelujah! If we’d sung that song 100 times it wouldn’t have been too much for me. Chills ran through me each time. I loved Easter. It coincided perfectly with spring, when the whole world came alive. The dead tree branches of the Bradford pear and Kwanzan cherry trees burst forth with new blossoms. The sticks of bare azalea bushes popped in blooms of fuchsia, lavender and salmon.
I always believed in God and I accepted whatever my Sunday School teacher taught, including the story of Jesus coming back to life after He died. It wasn’t until many years later that I understood what Easter meant to me. Honestly, I’m still learning how His resurrection impacts my life.
The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19:
If the Anointed has not been raised from the dead, then your faith is worth less than yesterday’s garbage, you are all doomed in your sins, and all the dearly departed who trusted in His liberation are left decaying in the ground. If what we have hoped for in the Anointed doesn’t take us beyond this life, then we are world-class fools, deserving everyone’s pity.The Voice
Jesus is not an iconic character from an ancient fable. He’s not a model of goodness and love that we “channel” in political statements, as if the mention of His name shows people we are good and loving too.
When we give our lives to Him, we’re not just patterning ourselves after a good man or even a perfect man. Our lives become hidden in His. We die to the old life we once lived just as He died to His earthly life. We rise into a new life as He resurrected from the grave.
His cross is our gateway to a new life. We don’t just try to be like him; He conveys his actual risen life to us. We are raised from the death of our old life before we knew Him. In that old life we stop being. In the resurrection life we start living again.
Jesus’ risen life invades every bit of my human nature. When I decided to identify with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came in; I walk by faith in His light and embrace what He teaches me.
The weakest saint can experience the Deity of the Son of God if once he is willing to let go. Any strand of our own energy will blur the life of Jesus. We have to keep letting go and slowly and surely the great full life of God will invade us in every part, and men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus.
As we bring every bit of our bodily life into harmony with the new life which God has put in us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus.My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
We don’t fear death when our earthly life ends because He has secured life after death for us. He’s also provided us with a meaningful redeemed life now. How is our redeemed life on earth impacted by His resurrection? How does it change the way we seek direction and make decisions? His Holy Spirit continually lives in us, and helps us to live the particular life He’s planned for us. The spirit that lives in us is the same one that raised Jesus from the dead. How’s that for power? He even takes our failures and hardships and uses them for good in His hands.
…I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.Philippians 3:8-11, NIV
Ever since disobedience in the garden, humans have cried out for a king who’d reign in the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. A little over 2,000 years ago a perfect man lived as a human on earth just like us. When He was 33 years old, he was attached to a cross with spikes—he was tortured and killed. But after three days in a tomb, He did what no other human had ever done or ever will do; He came out of that tomb; His scars visible, brilliantly alive. For forty days, He spent time with hundreds of people, eyewitnesses, then He left earth to be with His Father in Heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to live with us forever, so we could experience death to our old life, and resurrection into the new one.
I’m forever grateful for the gift of new life I could never have attained without Him.
Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!