“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” – 2 Corinthians 4:10-12
Certain events in our lives change everything. The birth of a child. A wedding. A national tragedy on the scale of 9-11. A near-death experience. A successful organ transplant that gives a new lease on life. The death of a loved one. Can you imagine experiencing any of these circumstances and not being changed in the way you think, act and feel? Incomprehensible!
I would add one more event to that list: Easter. The implications of Easter in the lives of those who follow Jesus are profound and far-reaching. Since we just celebrated another Easter let me encourage you to reflect on just a few of the promised realities of Jesus’ death and resurrection and how they might change us.
First, our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus is a profound demonstration of God’s unconditional love for you. I believe that the most difficult part of being a Christian is daring to believe that God loves us as much as the cross of Christ says. How might your life be different if you believed to the depths of your being that God loved you no matter what? How might it change the way you see yourself? How might your relationships be different?
Second, our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus means that we are living new lives in which the record of our past failures has been wiped clean. Our lives are no longer defined by our failures but by Christ’s life in us. How would your life be different if you refused to allow guilt and shame to ever sit in the driver’s seat of your life?
Third, our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus means that we are no longer slaves to our sinful desires but are free to live by the Spirit. Scripture promises that Easter people are people who have within them the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of life who promises to guide us into the ways of life and peace. How would you make daily decisions differently if you really believed that you were filled with the Holy Spirit?
Finally, our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus means that we are living eternal life now. For followers of Jesus eternal life doesn’t begin when we die; it begins the moment we are born again. How might you invest your time differently if you really believed that your life has eternal value and implications?
I hope your Easter celebration was joyous, but more importantly I pray that the power of Easter profoundly impacts the way that you live!
Bringing It Home
1. Choose one of the four implications of Easter listed above.
Find a few promises of Scripture that lay a foundation for this
truth. Commit one or two of them to memory.
2. List three ways in which your want to live differently in
light of your Easter faith. Commit them to the Lord in prayer and
watch how the Spirit moves and changes you.
Prayer (from [esvignore]Ephesians 3[/esvignore])
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN