As Easter approaches, I am taking time to remind myself of the covenant I have with Jesus and what it means for me. He was the sacrificial lamb of this blood covenant we have. I agreed when I was saved to live my life as a disciple of God, and a follower of Christ. I asked God to take over and be the boss. In return, He promised me protection, he promised me healing, he promised me eternal life free from condemnation, so long as I ask forgiveness and accept Jesus as my savior. I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I am saved by grace. I think I got the best end of this bargain.
In children’s ministry, there is a lot of emphasis on the death of Jesus. “Jesus died so that you might live abundantly. Jesus died for your sins. By Jesus stripes you are healed. God sent his son to die for us and give us eternal life.” We talk a lot about Jesus dying. We cheer that Jesus died for us. More focus should be made, in my opinion about the resurrection of Jesus.
When you are baptised, you are burying the old you, washing away your sins, and being risen with Christ. You are baptised as a confession of your acceptance of Christ as your savior. When we were born into this world, we are born of Adam and into sin. Sin is in our nature. When we accept Christ, our old nature is dead and buried and we are born again in Christ. The resurrection is key to understanding your salvation. Now for a moment, let’s imagine you just died with Christ. You are held under that water for ever. Being cleansed of sin through Christ’s death sounds pretty awesome, but without the resurrection it ends there. We would live and die as sinners.
Consider Romans 6:1-14:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,a that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
When we accept Christ’s salvation, we died with Him, and rose again. We rose again. The resurrection of Christ means that sin and death are no longer our master. Our one true master is God. Everything we live for should be to Honor and Glorify Him.
We talk about the death of Christ and the cleansing of our sins when teaching the word. We talk about the DON’Ts…And we sort of miss the point. Now that sin is no longer my master, I shouldn’t concentrate as much on the don’ts. I should be focused on the do’s.
Take for instance, a diet. If you want to focus on all the things you are depriving yourself of for the sake of fitness, it is going to make it oh so hard to succeed. You have to focus on the things you need to do and the things that come of it. In the morning, if I say to myself, you can’t have that donut. It’s bad. I get to feeling sorry for myself about it. If I say to myself, here is a delicious healthy omelet made with a little cheese and spinach and mushrooms and you will be full until lunch because of the protein and feel better because you aren’t sugar crashing in an hour, then I might just succeed.
You magnify what you set your focus on. Focusing on grace, love, and mercy rather than guilt and condemnation and applying it to others will help you greatly in your walk. A good portion of what Christ won for us on his Resurrection day has to do with our lives here and now on Earth. God wants us to be happy, He wants us to be healthy, He wants us to spread love. Jesus said people would know us by the signs and wonders and by the way we love. If we suffer through this time on Earth we can’t be light to the darkness. We just blend in with the rest. Defeating sin and living in the good things that God has for you is part of the deal we struck. God always has something better for you. Are you willing to work for it and get it? Are you willing to stop saying Jesus died for my sin, so I can’t… and Start believing that Jesus died so you could have a future and that your future can give Honor and Glory to God and be a testimony to others?
We celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas. We tend to celebrate his death and sacrifice on Easter. This year, lets all try to remember that it was the raising from the dead that conquered death. We are no longer death’s servants. Easter is a time of re-birth and revival. Easter is the celebration not only of Jesus resurrection but of every believer’s spiritual resurrection.