This is it. This is the day on which all of eternity shifts. Easter. Resurrection Day. Death is defeated. Jesus lives!
As I have meditated on the resurrection, I am reminded of Peter and John standing before the High Priest of Israel giving account for a lame man being healed. Peter’s simple explanation was, “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.” (Acts 4:10)
That wasn’t just the explanation for the lame man, though. It is, in fact, what every Christian on earth and now in heaven celebrates today. Peter isn’t just telling the story of the lame beggar. It is the story of us all. That is why the prophecy was given hundreds of years before,
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
On Friday we celebrated the fact that Jesus took our sins to the grave. Yesterday we saw what it would be like to live in uncertainty with the disciples. Today we celebrate the fact that now, as Jesus rose from the grave, so too in Him we now live.
New life. Freedom from all bondage. Healed. Delivered. Redeemed. In the resurrection of Christ is the death of death for those who believe in Him by faith.
My fear is that this is the point of Easter that too many of us miss: not that we have forgiveness of sins, but that in the resurrection we really do get raised to live a new life now.
When Jesus walked out of that tomb alive it was the start of the restoration of God’s creation.
For the next forty days Jesus stayed with His disciples instructing them on how they are to live now, continuing what He began. Shortly after Jesus ascends to Heaven, God fulfills His promise by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell permanently with all believers, empowering them to live the renewed lives possible in Christ.
This is why what immediately follows the Gospels is the book of Acts. The church begins to turn the world upside down. The disciples, who yesterday were in hiding, worried what would come next, are now preaching Christ to thousands and standing their ground in the face of the religious authority who tell them to stop. Persecution soon comes, but that only multiplies the effect of this message. When God brings the dead to life, what can stop them? And that’s exactly what has happened in us. We were dead, but He has made us live.
Sadly, too many Christians still go through life defeated. Hopeless. Addicted to sin. Just waiting to get to heaven when it will all get better. But Believer, THAT IS NOT WHO YOU ARE NOW!
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)
Today, if you live in Christ then it’s time to come out of your grave.
At the site of the empty tomb, the angel spoke to the women, saying, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” (Luke 24:5-6)
The living have no place among the dead. In the same way:
“What partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?… Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 6:14 and 7:1)
This is our day, Christian. New life is ours. Let’s believe God and take it for all it’s worth!
What stench of death still clings to you? By that I mean what sin do you still struggle with on a daily basis, or what bondage is holding you back from who Christ is asking you to be?
This Easter take whatever that thing is, show it the empty tomb, and leave it behind. God gave you the right to be an overcomer, and sent His Spirit to empower you to do so.
Easter is the ultimate day of victory for the Christian. Today, go after God, and accept that victory as your own.