“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power” (1 Corinthians 6:14). Jesus came to earth to save us. We came into the world under the curse of sin because Adam sinned and passed the sin nature on to his descendants. Our bodies will die and our souls would die except for Jesus. The Father “so loved” us that He sent His Son to die for us and reconcile us to Himself. Like the Passover lamb the Israelites offered to God as they were delivered from Egyptian slavery, Christ is our Passover Lamb who brings us out of sin’s bondage. He ended forever the need for that yearly sacrifice and we remember the true Passover by the communion of unleavened bread and wine, His body and blood.
Not only did Jesus die for us but He rose for us. Our faith in Him makes us partakers of His death for our sins and partakers of His life now and in eternity. “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Romans 6:8). Believers are crucified with Christ and have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. Our salvation is God’s gift to us. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Sin ruins life. It’s ugly, hurts. It divides loved ones and breaks hearts. The new birth in the Spirit purges out the leaven of sin and makes us new. We are quickened with Christ and made to sit “in heavenly places” with Him. By His Spirit the believer’s life is filled with “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance” (Galatians 5:22, 23). This is the beauty of Easter.
The sunrise bringing a new day, the beautiful new outfits to wear to church, the united family on the church pew, the pastor’s sermon about our “lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3), the ham in the oven and all blessings of life, temporal and eternal, are given by the One who overcame death for you and me and there’s more to come. He came once and He’s coming again for those who have grasped Easter’s hope. He’s alive! “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Our Savior became the “firstfruits” (1 Corinthians 15:20) of the harvest that began with His first coming and will be completed at His second coming when we will be raised with new bodies. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11). He came for you. He died for you. He rose for you. His life is all about you. He’s your hope. Happy Easter!