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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Easter reminds Christians how resurrection resonates in our past, present and future

For followers of Christ, Easter Sunday is the apex, the glorious culmination and evidence for our faith. It matters greatly to us, because it not only means Jesus is who he said he is, but because his resurrection affects our past, our present, and our future – simultaneously. It is the quintessential defining moment of our existence. 

Because He is risen, Christ affects every stage of our life. Allow me to explain.  

Our Past 

We believe Scripture’s very clear message that humanity was separated from God because He is holy and we are not. We have all sinned and fallen short of our Creator’s design for life on earth (Romans 3:23). We cannot measure up to His standard, and we cannot repair our situation on our own.  

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But Almighty God, in his loving kindness, devised a plan of redemption. He would send His only Son, Jesus – as God in the flesh – to this world to ultimately go to the cross to pay the penalty for our shortcomings and failures.  

Empty tomb symbolizing the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Easter and the cross of sacrifice and suffering and bright light background

Empty tomb symbolizing the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Easter and the cross of sacrifice and suffering and bright light background (iStock)

Only by placing our trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sin can we be reunited with Him, both now and in eternity. And because Jesus Christ came back from the grave, demonstrating his power over sin and death, we know that His promises are true. 

Our painful past is redeemed, no matter how far we’ve strayed from his commands. 

Our Present 

Most people are surprised that the resurrection has anything to do with the present. But the Bible tells us that because Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, our faith in him will give us the same power to live the Christian life that was used to bring Him back from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20). 

It’s mind-blowing to think about, but it’s the reason we believe in modern-day miracles, and can overcome unthinkable odds even when a parent may have given up on us, or a nation faces a well-armed adversary, or a doctor says there’s no hope for a cure. 

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We struggle when we try to live life in our own power, in our own strength. But if we humble ourselves, and depend on the power of God for help, He will give us strength beyond our understanding. We’re still sinful, yes, but He’s still in the business of saving us. He changes us from being cruel, selfish people, and we discover a desire to be kind, loving, and gracious. We become different people. 

As we read in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” How does that happen? It happens because God’s spirit indwells us and fills us with the power of the resurrection. 

Our Future 

Not only does Christ’s resurrection affect our past and present, it’s the guarantee of our future. 

Because Jesus rose from the grave, He became for believers the guarantee that, one day, we too shall overcome the grave. Our souls will spend eternity in heaven with him simply because of our faith in him. Not because we were born into a Christian household, not because we followed a religion, not because we were “good enough.” No, simply because of what He did for us.  

Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus after dying on the cross. 

Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus after dying on the cross.  (Photo by: Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

That’s the hope we have as believers, and it’s all hinged on the resurrection of Christ. If He hadn’t come out of the grave, we would be hopeless. We would die in despair. But because we’ve accepted his free gift of salvation, we can rest assured of eternal life in heaven some day (Romans 6:23). It’s a guarantee available to anyone and everyone. And all it takes is faith.  

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As Christians, we no longer have to fear death, because we have hope, and peace that surpasses all understanding.  

The resurrection is not just something we celebrate once a year at Easter with our families. The resurrection is the most important doctrine of the Bible. Because if Jesus didn’t do what He said He would do (which was to come back from the grave after his death on the cross), we would be left with empty promises.  

Most people are surprised that the resurrection has anything to do with the present. But the Bible tells us that because Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, our faith in him will give us the same power to live the Christian life that was used to bring Him back from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20). 

But Jesus did what He promised He would. With overwhelming evidence, it’s hard to deny He rose from the dead.   

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We have a unique Savior, that’s for sure. He’s unique in the fact that He came from God in His origin, unique in the fact that He was born of a virgin, unique because He lived a life without sin, and unique because He came out of the grave victorious over death. And the same uniqueness that is in Jesus Christ is available to all who have faith in him. 

For an authentic Christian, Easter is the annual reminder that our past, present, and future are all taken care of. It’s a message of hope that far outlasts this annual holiday.  

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