By Tyler Warner
Every Easter we commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s the happiest day of the year for a Christian. At Christmas we celebrate the arrival of Jesus, but Easter reminds us what He came for. Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day for the forgiveness of sins – the ultimate expression of God’s love. That belief is the unshakeable center of a Christian’s life. To believe in the life of Jesus is to find life for yourself, it changes everything.
Romans 6 tells us that when we put our faith in Jesus, we are united with Him in His death and resurrection. We die to our old lives, the sin that made us guilty. Then it says we rise to walk with Him in newness of life. Because our sin has been paid for on the cross, we can live without guilt, without shame, and without regret. There is no way to express the relief that comes when we allow God to take our worst tendencies and cover them by His grace.
Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to give us life, and that abundantly. To be a Christian does not mean that we miss out on life. On the contrary, when you accept the Resurrection, that’s when life really begins. Now you can live without the burden of shame. You can live life for its own sake, with the joy that the Spirit gives. Mundane things take on new meaning when you experience them with purpose. We know what we are living for, and that makes everything better.
And then there is the gift of God: eternal life. The Christian lives with the future hope of life. To be absent with the body is to be present with the Lord, and we await a future bodily resurrection with Him. This makes death tragic but not fearful, the pain of life hard but not unbearable, and the pressures of society difficult but not intolerable. We get to live every moment with hope.
Freedom from guilt, purpose and joy, hope – these things are beyond price. And they are offered freely for all those who can accept the Resurrection of Jesus. Those who allow their pride or their fear or their indifference keep them from faith are also kept from the certainty of these things. Unbelief does not lead to liberty, but to bondage. Bondage to the body, the emotions, the intellect. And depression, anxiety and fear are the unfortunate reward for belligerent skepticism.
Of course, it takes a leap of faith, but the life that Christ offers is worth the risk. It is what has empowered Christians for almost 2,000 years, and what will bring us home in the end.
Tyler Warner is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Trussville. CCT meets on Sunday mornings at 9:30am, at 5239 Old Springville Rd. Listen to Tyler’s verse-by-verse Bible teaching at CalvaryChapelTrussville.com or Sundays at 8:30am on 101.1 FM.