Easter means New Life

 
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Easter is the capstone event of Christianity. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Remove the resurrection of Jesus from the grave and you destroy what is Christianity.  Remove the resurrection from Christianity and you remove the hope, power and meaning of the New Testament. 

The resurrection of Jesus means new life and certainly life eternally with God in heaven, but it means even more. It means new life today. If we hold the power of the resurrection to just an eternal hope, we cut short the full life-giving power, hope and glory that it accomplished. Jesus’ death atoned for the sins of the world (all peoples or all times; once and for all). Forgiveness of sins and new life are received when one believes that God loves them that much. How much?  Enough to send His Son to die in our place on the cross. The Apostle Paul wrote it best, “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

We who believe that God loved us this much have life eternal but also new life today. When the Apostle Paul wrote Romans chapter 6, you can hear him trying to explain something incredible was accomplished by Jesus’ resurrection. He uses baptism as a connection point—using baptism as a metaphor for identification with Jesus, the believer dies, is buried and raised to new life in Jesus. Jesus takes the sin of mankind and it’s crucified with Him so that we “should no longer be slaves to sin…” (Romans 6: 6); this is the Christian’s emancipation proclamation! We are free from sin’s penalty and power by the resurrection of Jesus Christ giving us new life.

When temptation to sin comes around, we say, That’s not me anymore. When our past comes around to haunt us with guilt and depress us with shame, we say, That’s not me anymore—I’m forgiven in Christ. I am a new person in Jesus! Like the old and familiar hymn, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Though my sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” When we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we have nothing left to pay on them. This is the incredible grace of God! This is incredibly freeing and it’s what we celebrate on Easter—new life in Jesus both eternal and today!

This week you have 3 things to do:

  1. Read the Romans 6. Allow Paul’s words to minister to you—take your time letting it sink in.  Allow these words to meet you today, right where you are and encourage you! 
  2. Thank God for His amazing Grace and receive His love. If never before, receive His love and forgiveness today. If you’re a Christian and struggling in life—doing what you don’t want to do and not doing what you want to do, realize you’re in good company (read Romans 7).  Remember, you are free from sin—it’s not your master.  Remember, God not only loves you—He likes you. No one is beyond the struggle. And that’s where #3 comes in…
  3. Share this good news with others. Remind others that God loves them. Remind others who they are (or can be) in Jesus. The power of the resurrection is new life! At Lakeside we believe strongly in doing life together. Encourage one another in Jesus.