Today we celebrate Easter and the fact Jesus has risen from the grave, defeated death and canceled our sins. It is a glorious thing indeed, yet this morning in Bible Fellowship my husband posed a question that has challenged me. His question was, “How does the resurrection impact your life and the way you live?” There was silence for a time and then answers began to fly. Yet, as I sat there thinking, I was hit by the reality, that the resurrection should impact every aspect of our lives, how we live, what we do, where we go, what we say etc. Our belief that Jesus died, was buried and rose again is not all there is. This truth we as Christians believe, should be the foundation of every aspect of our lives.
In Colossians 1 Paul explains to us how as believers the resurrection has affected us in the sight of God. He says in verse 21-22, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ‘s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” Chapter 2:13-15, “When you were dead in your sin and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross.” Because of Calvary, Paul lets us know that we are no longer enemies of God, instead we have been reconciled. Because of Jesus we have been made holy in the eyes of God, without blemish and free from accusations. God has made us alive in Christ, He has forgiven us our sins because of Jesus. We have been made righteous, holy, blameless, because of Calvary. He has accomplished all of this with His death and resurrection.
Now, then, how does this affect our every day. Paul goes on to tell us in Chapter 3:1-17. He tells us that because of what Jesus has accomplished, we are now to set our hearts on things above (1). To set our thoughts or our minds on things above and not on earthly things (2). Verse five says we are to put to death the things that belong to our earthly nature, to rid ourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language (7). Not to lie to one another because we have put on a new self that is the image of its Creator (9). Then Paul lets us know once we have done this, we are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another. Forgiving others as the Lord forgave, put on love and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. T0 be thankful, to richly dwell on the Word of Christ and just to make sure he hadn’t left anything out, he tells us in verse 17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
This list seems exhaustive and quite honestly it seems impossible at times and yet the great and amazing reality is because of what Jesus has already accomplished for us through His death, burial and resurrection, it is possible. This is not a do and do not list. Paul tells us what Jesus has done first for a reason, and as we dwell upon what He has accomplished, as we fall in love with Jesus all over again, we will want to live out the rest in obedience to Him.
Oh, the resurrection is so much more than Easter, it is the basis for all we believe. It is the basis for why we live, act and do what we do. We don’t earn favor with God by doing right, we already have favor with God because of Jesus. No, we do right, we put away the flesh and put on the new man out of love and obedience for all that Christ has done. Will we fail, absolutely! Yet, the wonder of it all is that when we fail, He forgives us, loves on us and restores us that we might live for Him all the more.
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied ( I Corinthians 15:19).” Paul lets us know that if our belief in the resurrection is wrong and if we only have hope in Christ in this life, we are to be pitied, we are fools. For if the resurrection is not true, we might as well live like we want, do what we please. live completely for ourselves. But, if the resurrection is true and I believe it is, then we have hope both for this life and the one to come and I believe how we live now is important to God, to those watching and to our own walk with God. It is because the resurrection is true, that our lives, how we live, what we do, what we say, where we go etc. should be completely abandoned and surrendered to Christ and reflect our thankfulness unto Him and love for Him.