Ears to Hear: Reflections on Holy Week, Easter
Luke 24:6-7; Ephesians 1:19-20
He has risen. Death is defeated, sin is atoned for, and new life assured. The central claims of Christianity are historically verifiable and tangible. He died, He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He appeared to many starting on that first Easter and for several weeks thereafter before ascending into the heavens.
Easter is a singular event, encapsulated in history and yet it transcends history to provide new life for any would come and drink from the fountain of life in Christ. Easter is celebrated on a particular day each year, but its reality is available every day throughout the year. What a shame it would be to celebrate on one day and then leave behind that transcendent reality, essentially forgetting it for 364 days.
I plead with you … emerge from this Easter with a renewed focus on experiencing Easter every day. Ah, but the question becomes: how? How do we live a resurrection kind of life that is filled with the power that defeated death and ushered in eternal life?
Two challenges …
First: trust with all your heart that you have resurrection power residing in your bones. Ephesians 1:19-20 is part of a prayer in which the Apostle Paul implores his readers to know (i.e., experience) “the greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.” The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to the follower of Jesus.
Take time each day and remind yourself of this truth. There is an old “you” that was buried in the tomb with Jesus and often we walk around in the grave clothes, but resurrection is available. Sin has been forgiven but new life is waiting to emerge. No matter how frustrated you are with the old, remember that the new is more powerful. No matter how fearful you are to let go, remember that new life is real life. No matter how helpless you feel, remember that His power is stronger than your past, your habits, your fears, and your “whatever”. Daily time in meditation, rehearsing the truths of who you are allows your soul to inhabit new responses to old scenarios.
Second: decide each day to let go and wait for new life to emerge. What of the old life is still held in your hands? Daily, ask God to search your heart (Psalm 139:23-24) and show you where the “old” is in play. To experience the new life, something has to die. Certainly, our position before God is that we have died and our lives are hidden with Christ. (cf. Colossians 3:3), but this truth still has to work itself out in our lives.
In John 12:24, Jesus said something incredibly simply and yet very profound: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” To experience new life, something has to die. What, in you, needs to die? Will you daily let things die? Old responses? Old ways of finding significance? Old ways of finding satisfaction? Old ways of finding strength? And, then, are you willing to wait like a gardener waits for a buried seed to sprout with new life?
To experience new life, something has to die … will you let parts of you die this year, remembering that resurrection power dwells in your bones?