April 29, 2014 by Heather Harris
This month, we celebrated Easter.
You probably saw a multitude of “He is risen!” statuses and received several “Happy Easter! He lives!” texts on Easter morning. Church (if you go) was probably overcrowded and you may have noticed many unfamiliar faces in the crowd that normally attends (you may have even been one of them if you don’t attend church on a weekly basis). It’s definitely no secret the resurrection is a crucial event for Christians. Without the reality of Jesus’ death, subsequent resurrection three days later, and physical appearance to over 500 witnesses over the course of the next 40 days to prove its authenticity (2 Peter 1:16), nothing else we believe would matter much or even really make sense.
But this is the reality: God created us for relationship with Him, but we decided we knew better. Adam and Eve chose the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil over a perfect, loving, incorruptible God because they desired power over love. Humanity betrayed God’s trust and broke His heart, but He still wasn’t finished with us. He loved us too much to watch us struggle and destroy ourselves from the inside out. Instead, He became one of us, the fullness of God in a human body, to prove we are worth more to Him than following a set of rules. In short, we wanted to be like God, though we were never built for that, and ended up enslaving ourselves to the consequences…Jesus gave up His rights as God, laid down His life, and rose again so we could be one with God, eventually receiving new bodies built to accommodate, in the process emancipating us from the condemnation our actions had brought us into (Romans 8:10-11, Hebrews 2:14-15).
Every Easter, I realize the gravity of what God has done to reconcile us to Himself. Jesus loved us so much He was willing to endure the struggles, grief, dirt, and pain of humanity’s depravity, ending with a very publicly humiliating, torturous death in order to offer us something even better than the equality with God we desired in the first place…unity with Him.
Jesus isn’t just alive….He is one with every single believer through the Holy Spirit living within us. He makes Himself relatable and vulnerable by connecting us to the mind and heart of the Father, so we can know His innermost thoughts and emotions. He makes us his equals, His “co-heirs” (Romans 8:17). His resurrection isn’t just a promise of eternal life, it’s a promise of enriched and abundant life on Earth as well. Though we may struggle with our imperfections and the sin so deeply engrained in our flesh, we are no longer enslaved to the condemnation that comes from them (Romans 8:1). Jesus gives us the tools and the confidence we need to fight back, to rebel against the enemy and know that no matter how many battles we win or lose, we have already won because of Jesus’ resurrection.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Remember that grace and truth cannot finally be crucified. Remember that all the high things that make humanity beautiful cannot be forever laid in the dust, spattered with blood. And most of all, remember that He who rose from the dead, rose to pour out His Holy Spirit into human lives, and, by that Spirit, to make available to any individual all the fullness of Himself, twenty-four hours a day.” – Ray C. Stedman
On Easter, we celebrate that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, conquering sin and death and turning the world on its head by proving to oppressive forces that they are POWERLESS against His love. That is the power of the resurrection, and it’s living and breathing in all who believe.
So let’s not just celebrate the resurrection once a year…Let’s claim it, and live it out every single day.