We had a discussion yesterday about the meaning of Easter. Most people think of Easter in terms of our sin and Jesus’ passion, how Christ suffered on the cross to cleanse us from our sins. In my experience, cultivating a penitent heart has always been my focal point for this week. Then, Easter Sunday rolls along and Christians mention the resurrection almost as an add-on or an afterthought.
Realizing our need for forgiveness and regulaly confessing our sins is indeed important. Without it, our relationship with God cannot begin. But if our journey ends there, we come to view Jesus as merely a Savior for our sins and not our Lord.
Jesus as Lord has implications that Jesus is Lord over all areas of our lives. Jesus cleanses our sins as our Savior so that He can be our Lord and we can follow him on the path to life. The cross is more about life than death! I wonder if we have gotten this mixed up. I believe we need to restore the balance of Jesus as both Savior and Lord by remembering that Jesus not only died but he also resurrected.
A theological explanation of the cross may be helpful to hammer this point in. From Ephesians 4, we read, 7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
8This is why it says: When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." 9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
At the cross, Jesus overcame sin and death. This means that just like a Roman general returns from victory with a train of his captives as prisoners of war, Jesus descended to the pits of hell to bind up Satan and the forces of evil prior to his ascension. Therefore, Jesus has given His children the tools for us to be victorious over Satan and all his temptations. Whenever we are tempted, God promises that there will be a way out so that we can be victorious.
Having this view of Jesus defeating Satan ought to give us a different outlook when it comes to spiritual life. We ought to die to our sins but also rise with Christ in resurrection power.
Transformation or bearing fruit in a believer’s life is not optional, it is expected.
Hope you have a blessed Easter week.