I firmly believe that when creating us, God purposed that we should party! Sadly, we so often meet people who are so obsessed with celebration, that they have never noticed that they have so little to celebrate. This Easter, as Christians we need be reminded that in raising Jesus from the dead, God gave us numerous reasons for which praise him for all of eternity. Here are six to whet your appetite!
Firstly: In Colossians 2:15, the Apostle Paul reveals that by the cross, Jesus triumphed over the devil and his host of demons. Just as amazing, we find in Ephesians 4:8 a picture of the ascending Jesus like a conquering general. Here Jesus is leading those he has overcome as captives in his victory parade. The message is simple. Jesus wins!
Secondly: Because Jesus was raised we can be justified. In Romans 4:25 we read that ‘He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.’ Therefore, the resurrection of Jesus provides evidence that God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as the just penalty for our sin. Praise God that there is no outstanding debt required in exchange forgiveness. There is however everything to receive!
Thirdly: Through the resurrection of Jesus we have a picture of the wonder of new birth. Romans 8:11 says, ‘And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.’ Isn’t that amazing? Our becoming ‘a Christian’ was more than our simple decision. Rather, our becoming ‘a Christian’ depended upon God who ‘made us alive, even when we were dead in our sins’ (Ephesians 2:5).
Fourthly: If my third and fifth points are correct then it is only logical that an outworking of Jesus’ resurrection means that we know can know his power today. According to Ephesians 3:20 Gods ‘power is at work within you’. That’s not past or future, rather is the promise of a present reality. Why then do we so often rely upon our own strength when you can rely on his?
Fifthly: In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Jesus is described as ‘the first-fruits from among the dead’. It could be said that Jesus resurrection is evidence of that which will follow. Therefore, the Bible tells us that we can be certain ‘that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.’ (2 Corinthians 4:14)
And lastly: Because Jesus was raised we will receive new bodies: 1 Corinthians 15:52-53 says ‘For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.’ This means more than you being free from your aches and pains or me having a full head of hair again! By the means of Jesus resurrection, God is revealing a new creation that will be completed upon Jesus’ return. According to Revelation 21:4 God ‘will wipe every tear from their (our) eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
Praise God then for a real reason to celebrate and for chocolate eggs!