Even after 38 years I remember the main principle of a particular Easter message. It was 1978, and my husband and I were newlyweds seeking God. Since we each had a church tradition (having attended since childhood), it was important to us to be in church on one of the holiest holidays of the year. And adjusting to marriage in a new city 11 hours away from our closest family members, I faced a loneliness that threatened to steal my joy. As a couple, we sensed we needed God’s help in our lives. At that point we didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus; no, not yet.
Now, almost four decades later, I can’t recall the names of the church or pastor that early March morning, but God used his Easter sermon to re-orient my heart. The gist of what he said is this: in light of all Jesus did for us - dying a tortuous death to pay the penalty of sin for all who would believe, and promising us eternal life by rising from the grave - we should celebrate His victory daily and live lives that honor Him. He called us not only to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Easter morning, but to live as Resurrection People from then on out!
Resurrection People have the power of the Holy Spirit to live with expectancy and peace no matter what circumstances they encounter. In the Gospel of John we read Jesus proclaiming, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…” John 11:25. The assurance of life after this temporal existence, life with God and Jesus our Redeemer, gives us a lasting joy and confidence not found in worldly pursuits.
Is God wooing you to Himself this holy season? Are you sensing a need for peace and security that you’re not experiencing? Reach out to Him while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6), for this is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).
The empty tomb shouts of a victory far beyond any other! Raised in resurrection power, Jesus is the first fruits from the dead, guaranteeing that those who trust in Him will also be raised to immortality. We were made to become Resurrection People.
I still thrill when I hear the lyrics of a popular song from the 80s: He’s Alive Again, performed by Phil Driscoll. With a gravelly voice reminiscent of the late Joe Cocker, Phil lays out the Gospel story: Jesus was like a Lamb led to the slaughter, sealed in a tomb, but the grave couldn’t hold Him! “An angel came and said, ‘Go spread the good news, the King’s no longer dead.’
He’s alive again, the stone’s been rolled away. He’s alive again, He’s no longer where He lay. He’s alive again, I can hear the angel’s say, ‘Let all the world rejoice, He’s alive!’”
I pray for you to rejoice in the new life Jesus died to give us!