Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Passover, Resurrection Sunday
We, on the Single Adult Ministries team, hope that you are enjoying an amazing and meaningful Easter season. That’s right, I said, “enjoying;” present tense, as in, you haven’t just put it back in the box and packed it away like so many other holidays that just seem to come and go.
Whether you invited someone to church for their first time, attended services with family/friends, or even on your own, as Christians, we know that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very foundation of our faith. It’s worthy of our learning to celebrate it every day for the rest of our lives. For those who are unfamiliar with or want to know more about the story of Jesus’ resurrection, I suggest viewing/listening to the message attached here to establish the significance of His crucifixion and its intended meaning for our lives.
While we will never truly out-live the message of Jesus’ resurrection, we can learn to live it out for the rest of our days on earth by remembering and practicing these key truths. This list is not meant to be all there is to say on the subject but a “starter” that you can add to as you build obedience in your discipleship.
For believers, the story of resurrection is one that consistently reminds us to remain steadfast even through the challenges and ugliness of the world. It solidifies the following messages:
- He is both Savior and Lord.
Mark 16:14-16 says, “Later, Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
There simply is nothing more powerful than Jesus’ being raised from the grips of death. His resurrection is a message to the world that He is not only Savior; He is to be Lord over every aspect of our lives. Many want the savior but are resistant to making Him Lord. Through Him, we avoid the rightful penalty of death as He holds the power over sin and makes way for our path to eternal life. In Him – as we make Him Lord overall – we can experience life so much fuller and richer than ever we could in attempting to do things our own way. Through His death and resurrection, we are given the power to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
- He Opened the Doors for our Forgiveness.
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…”
All of our sins were conquered on the cross. On a daily basis, we should remember that His life and death were the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus paid our debts and wiped clean our slates so that we could experience forgiveness. His shed blood on our behalf also gives us the power to forgive others and ourselves, both for things done and those left undone.
- The Gift of Salvation is Available to and Waiting for You.
Romans 10:9 reminds us, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The cross is the ultimate penalty of death that Jesus took on our behalf. He was not a sinner, yet he made Himself the sacrifice for our sins. This led the way to the pathway of our eternal salvation. He came to save all who were lost. Through the power of resurrection, we are reminded that His love for us is alive and unchanging – forever. This is worth reminding ourselves, committing ourselves to and reaccepting this amazing gift every day!
4. There is Hope Amid Terror and Fear.
The world is full of terror, anguish, hatred, and evil but, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have been given the power to be a light to our broken world. The story of Jesus’ resurrection represents that there is hope amid fear.
In Ephesians 1:18-19 we are reminded, 18“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe…”
It is normal and right that we experience (temporary) feelings of fear when we see all of the hate going on in the world but in Jesus, we find hope. When we go through difficulties, we should pray for His wisdom, guidance, and direction. Jesus has the answers and is the sole proprietor of genuine hope.
- Christ Dwells in All of Us.
We are weak but can gain strength through Him. We are sinners but are forgiven through Him. We are empty but we are fulfilled through Him. Jesus’ promise to us was that through our faith in Him we will, at all times; in every circumstance, have His Spirit dwelling within us.
His Spirit and grace are how we hold steadfast to His promise of eternal life.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” — 2Corinthians 13:5
How do we know if we are in this faith and pass the test? My study Bible answers the question this way; “This test is internal and cannot be standardized to evaluate others. Each person must inspect his or her own heart to determine what motivates their personal behavior. No one else can evaluate the results. Those who discover they are motivated by Christ living within them are true believers.” If you believe, you will receive His life-giving spirit. His resurrection led the way for believers to receive his spirit.
“But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.”—Romans 8:10
His Holy Spirit lives inside us and that is how we are able to walk with hope and faith. At all times we can/should know that He protects us.
6. Resurrection is a Message to Be Shared Every Day
Though we generally only speak about Jesus’ resurrection around Easter, we should really be having these conversations every day. We can use these messages as an introduction to who Jesus is and how we gain strength through His eternal love.
I have been taught that there are at least 4 ways we can begin to build these messages into our vocabularies and conversations. As you read them, be thinking about some other disciplines you can begin to put into practice.
7. Learn to Be Grateful for Each and Every Day.
Each day that our eyes flutter open as we awaken, we should give thanks and seek God’s wisdom and guidance as to what He has in store for us and how we can best represent Him. In this way, we can not only keep the hope of His resurrection alive, but we can approach each day with a whole new attitude. We can learn to maximize each day we are given when we begin to see each new day as a gift.
Psalm 107 opens with, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever.”
Begin practicing the exercise of opening, closing or even stating throughout the day each thing that you notice you are thankful for. Fellow blogger Kirstyn Mayden says, “Maintaining a grateful heart for the gift of life each day will uplift our spirits, renew our minds, and change our perspective.” Christian author Brené Brown is known for sharing that, “gratitude turns everything we have into enough,” and “a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.” The resurrection of our Lord is a miracle worthy of our praise and thanksgiving and such good news to share with all who will listen.
8. Share Your Story.
Sharing a story of what God has done in and with your life can inspire hope within others. Every believer has a powerful story of how God has used pain or has kept, strengthened and encouraged us. No one can argue against your story and what you’ve experienced and sharing it is a great way of keeping the hope of Jesus’ resurrection alive each day.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-5 says, “3…the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
We don’t want to keep our testimony silent because someone else is depending on the good news of Christ to keep moving forward.
9. Use Your God-Given Spiritual Gifts for a Purpose.
God has given us all gifts to use to fulfill our God-given purposes. One way to keep the hope of the resurrection alive is by using your God-given gifts to bless others. (1 Peter 4:10-11). Many people will benefit from the unique gifts that you are willing to give and share. If you aren’t sure what your spiritual gifts are, I invite you to take one of the many Spiritual Gifts Tests that are available online and strongly consider the results as you pray for wisdom and understanding on how you can apply them to inspire hope and purpose for yourself and others.
10. Get to know God’s Word.
It’s kind of an amazing reality that our vocabularies are formed largely through the words we read (and then use) on a regular basis. It stands to reason then, doesn’t it, that if we want to get better at regularly sharing the resurrection message, we need to keep the story fresh in our hearts and minds. The best way we can do this is through being reminded of it by regularly reading it. The entire Bible is ultimately a story about Jesus and what His death and resurrection mean for us. Once again, Kristyn Mayden shares that, “Scripture can also provide us with assurance and help to renew our minds with peace, comfort and strength. Within our own strength and human frailty, we allow anxious thoughts to consume us, but God’s word can help us to overcome anxiety and hopelessness.
Psalm 119 says that God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto my path.
His word provides us with direction and a roadmap on how to proceed in life. Having a better sense of where we are headed and how to get there naturally brings hope. Hope in the resurrection of Christ Jesus and regularly renewing this hope through the study of and meditation upon His word breathes life.
Learning to keep the message of Jesus’ resurrection alive throughout all the days of our lives will quite literally change the way that we live. As the ways in which we live the change, the lives of others will be positively affected, as well. Jesus’ resurrection paves the way. Let’s be reminded and remind one another of it every day.
Right here with you,