What Easter Gives Us Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
“I am the resurrection and the life.
The third result of Easter is that It Gives Us the Celebration of Life Eternal (Rom.8:11). This is what Paul said about that in the 8th chapter of Romans, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” What Paul is saying in this verse is that all men die, because they’re human. Sin came into the world, and along with sin came death, which is the result of sin. Therefore, all men eventually die; but the man who has Christ and His Spirit will rise again. You see, the Christian is one in Christ. The child of God is on his way to eternal life; death is only a brief interlude that has to be passed through on the way.
Now, Christ died and rose again; and the man who is one with Christ is one with death’s conqueror and shares in that victory. We are essentially connected to Jesus by His resurrection. We actually share the life of Christ, somewhat like a limb that’s grafted into a tree shares the life of the tree. The life of Christ is our life now. Those who know and follow Christ have a sure hope of a resurrection of our own, and of eternal life.
Robert Ingersoll, a doubting Thomas of the modern era, rejected belief in the Resurrection, but at the casket of his brother, he wondered whether or not something might lie beyond the grave. We cry aloud,” he said, “and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry.” So, you can see that he had a pessimistic attitude concerning God’s Word. But Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25 –26).
Satan believed he had defeated Jesus when He died on the cross, but that opinion only lasted three days, because the resurrection conquered sin and death and gave Satan a knock-out blow. When the shepherd boy David knocked out the giant Goliath with a stone from his slingshot, he rushed over to the fallen man and, taking the giant’s own sword, cut off his head. Jesus did that with Satan. Using the devil’s own weapon, death, He defeated him. Hebrews 2:14–15 says: “....that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” It was necessary for Christ to die in order to destroy the power and fear of death. That doesn’t mean that death and Satan have been destroyed, however, they have been made ineffective. Through His resurrection, Christ broke the hold which Satan possessed over man.
These bodies that you and I have will be put into the grave one of these days if the Lord tarries. However, the Holy Spirit is our assurance that our bodies will be raised from the dead. We are given the Holy Spirit of God as the first installment of the life to come. We can enjoy a foretaste of what eternal life is going to be like.
Friends, I am looking forward to the day when I will be done with this human body. I am waiting for the day when God will give me a new body, a spiritual body, in which I will still be able, even in heavenly places to love Him and serve Him. Because Christ was raised from the dead, we shall be raised from the dead. The Holy Spirit will deliver us from the “body of this death”—this old nature.
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan tells the remarkable story of a man who set out from the City of Destruction, hoping to journey toward the Celestial City. As he trudged out of town, beginning his journey, he bore a heavy burden on his back. It weighed him down. It was the burden of sin and guilt. But then the pilgrim met a man named Evangelist who pointed him in the right direction. Coming to a hill called Calvary, the pilgrim knelt at the Cross. The burden fell from his back, rolled down the hill, and disappeared forever into the empty tomb.
All of us carry a heavy load of sin until we give it to Jesus. What better time could there be to do that than at Easter, when He received new physical life. Because of Easter, we can receive a new spiritual life too; we can be born again. Easter gives us everything our hearts and minds need—confirmation of Christ’s identity, cancellation of sin’s penalty, and celebration of life eternally. All of it is yours for the taking, for the believing, for the accepting. Will you come to Christ today and trust in Him? People who trust Christ are God’s children on their way to glory. The Redeemer has defeated death and the devil, and He understands how His people feel as they face the temptations and trials of life. When you come to Him by faith, you come to a sympathetic High Priest who can meet your every need.
I pray that you will trust Him!