As Easter approaches, both Christian and secular camps gear up for their normal treatment of an internationally acknowledged Holy Day. Why not experience it like never before? ♦
So here comes another Easter season with all of its Christian and secular practices, from egg hunts to bunnies to observances of Lent, to Good Friday gatherings and expanded weekend church services to accommodate expanded crowds of regulars and non-regular church attendees. There will also be the usual hand-wringing by Christians over the commercialization of the Holy Day (holiday), and the secularists making sure that things don’t get religiously out of hand and cross over into violation of the “separation of church and state.”
I’m committed this year to worry less about the culture and more about the Lord. After all, Easter is a worldwide celebrated acknowledgment of a historical event: the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see past post Easter Springs Truth). An event that, if true, is worthy of turning our heads and hearts fully toward the risen Lord of all things in heaven and earth. If true, who are we to be concerned about anything outside of our own devotion to Him? Our family, friends and work, should benefit from the overflow of our peace, purpose and loving perspective on our lives in a broken world that’s been given hope and a restoration lifeline through the sacrifice of the Son of God.
Regardless of your religious heritage, here are 3 keys to experiencing Easter this year like never before:
Oswald Chambers notes, like the Apostle Paul writes in Romans, that there must come a conscious decision to “kill sin” right out of me. Just as Jesus died for the sin of the world, so sin must die out in me. Not suppressed, but crucified.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. – Romans 6:6
It’s on me alone – no one, no pastor or priest, no ceremony, service or church program can take or force the moral decision that sin in me must be put to death. May the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) tug at me until I know that my sin (all of it) is given God’s final verdict and identified with the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
I am therefore “clean” – done, forgiven, renewed. So that it’s Christ now living out in me. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” I’m still not perfect but something’s different now. My relationship with God is wholly reestablished.
Now that the moral decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, then the channel is open for the Holy Spirit to invade my human nature and take control of my life. Everything in me is under new management.
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” – Romans 6:5
The old me is dead somehow, crucified. There is new life, a new Spirit is alive in me. My response is to walk in this light and to obey the Spirit that teaches me through in His Word (the Bible) and through prayer, merely talking real to Him like I would to a caring friend. The great opportunity now is to walk in the holy shadow of Jesus. It’s like a gift to me. It’s like getting a new lease on an uplifted life.
3. Co-Eternal Life
Again, first we overcome our sinful life when we make the decision to be identified with Christ and die to our old self. The full life and Spirit of God comes in, an endless supply for the taking if we stay connected to Jesus (the vine, see John 15), the source, power and giver of life. “That you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Now,
“Death has no more dominion over Him…in that He lives, He lives unto God. Likewise count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:9-11
I am now set for life, literally and eternally. As true followers of Christ we are connected to Him, an eternal wellspring of living water, in this life and in a life beyond we cannot fathom. That perspective in itself should make one rekindle their life-view and come newly alive.
This Easter you really don’t need any more evidence supporting the historical existence of Christ, or proof of his death by crucifixion by the Romans, or the truth of His resurrection. Have at it if you must. There are plenty of books out there that have eliminated or neutralized the last barriers to our skeptical, intellectual minds.
It really is in the letting go. It’s not about giving in, but giving up. This coming week, don’t be religious, be surrendered. Be made holy and clean by your identity with Christ’s death, your rising up in new life, and with the exciting infusion of the Holy Spirit in you to fully bless, equip and direct you to be a blessing in the Kingdom.
Are you going through the Easter motions or are you fully alive?
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:30