Growing up in church, I heard a lot about Jesus’ resurrection. Even as a young child I realized it must be important, but somehow failed to appreciate it as anything more than another interesting historical event in the life of Jesus that all good Christians were supposed to believe.
And every Easter I heard about the intellectual and historical reason why we should believe Jesus rose from the dead: According to 1 Corinthians 15:6, there were more than five hundred eyewitnesses to the resurrected Lord. Friend and foe alike admitted the tomb was empty. The disciples gave their lives for the unwavering conviction that Jesus rose from the grave.
Only later in my Christian walk did I begin to more deeply understand that while the raw fact of the resurrection is a critically important and foundational truth supporting the basic infrastructure of Christian belief (e.g., 1 Corinthians 15:14-20), the significance of Jesus’ resurrection went far beyond historical claims about the life and death of Jesus. It was more than a fact to be believed. It was a present spiritual reality to be empirically evident in the daily life of every believer.
Paul makes this very clear in Romans 6:4-13 where he explains that just as Christ was raised from the dead, believers in Jesus have also been raised with Him that “we too might walk in newness of life.” Everything that was wicked and wrong about our lives was nailed to the cross and left in the grave after Christ’s resurrection. We have been freed by the resurrection to obey God and live again in a way that was previously unattainable and unimaginable.
The power and fear of death have been conquered! The law no longer condemns us! Sin no longer has any mastery over us! Through Christ’s resurrection power we are finally free to be “instruments of righteousness” (verse 13) and live the life God meant us to live; a life of unmatched love, grace, confidence, joy, and holiness, a powerful, beautiful, wonderful life!
Easter is more than just the fact of the resurrection, although that fact remains the bedrock of all that flows out from it. As Christians we are called to proclaim the fact of the resurrection not only as an historical event, but also as a living and present reality. And that proclamation is heard most clearly when we incessantly live truly holy lives freed from sin and released to be instruments of righteousness through the power of God’s gracious Holy Spirit.
This Easter—and every day which follows—let God play upon the instrument of your life the sweet melody of His beautiful holiness so that others can hear, respond, and embrace the forgiving, transforming power of Christ’s transforming resurrection!