Happy Easter Sunday! We have so much to be grateful for on this very special day.
Christians are truly blessed to know that their sins are forgiven and their future is secure in the hands of Jesus Christ!
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is about VICTORY! God is victorious through the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, and those who follow Christ into that resurrection.What has been the defeat of mankind since the time of Adam and Eve? Sin and death! Adam sinned and died. People have been sinning and dying ever since. Has that defeated God? Absolutely not! God had a plan for victory even before Adam sinned. Jesus Christ is the sacrificial Lamb who God sent to earth to take away the sins of the world. Jesus died for us. He shed His blood for us. He agonized on the cross because of and for us. He was buried in our place.
If Jesus had died on the cross and remained in the tomb we could have forgiveness of sins, but what would that mean eternally? It’s only part of what God planned from eternity. If Jesus remained in the grave, God would not have won the victory over Satan and death. The victory was complete in Christ’s resurrection. Jesus beat death. He beat sin. He beat Satan. Jesus WON!
Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose for our justification.
“The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him [Abraham] alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”Romans 4:23-25
Christians stand before God as free men and women. We stand before Him justified (made righteous). We stand before Him with an eternal future of life and joy. No one else can say this. Christians are alone in this amazing light…the light of Victory. The resurrection is that Victory!
“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Our lives are about to be changed forever. We are about to experience the resurrection of Christ in our own bodies. We are about to see what it is to change from perishable to imperishable … from mortal to immortal. It may be today. It may tomorrow. It may be next week, or next month, or next year or the next or the next. The fact is we are going to change. We will be victorious. Christ’s resurrection is proof of that. Then we can sing with Paul, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Corinthians 15:56-57
Look at what Christ did for us through His death and resurrection! He gave us victory over death, sin and the law. We are victorious!
I’ll be the first to tell you that Christians don’t always act victorious. We often get defeated and discouraged. We often wonder why such awful things befall us in life. We often wonder why we’re so weak. We are allowing sin and the law to keep a grip on us even though we’re spiritually free of their grip. What do we do about that? Apply the principles of Victorious Living. Here’s what God taught the Apostle Paul to do about it.
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 6:18-23
We are “free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness”. We need to be smart about our freedom. We need to understand the working of our victory. We needed God in the beginning and we’ll need Him in the end. It’s silly to think we can depend on God completely for our salvation and then just throw Him aside and live out the rest of our lives without Him and be successful! We were slaves to sin. Now we are slaves to righteousness. We offered our body and mind to sin before Christ. Now we offer our body and mind to righteousness which leads to holiness. It’s a process. We don’t get everything overnight. We have to work at it. Being a slave or servant of something or someone means we work. Salvation is by grace through faith without works, but always with a view toward accomplishing good works that God has prepared for us to do.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Being a servant of God means we spend a lot of time listening, learning, doing. Look at what Paul told the Corinthians about their victory through Jesus.
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”1 Corinthians 15:58
God does not say living a victorious life will be easy. In fact, He makes it clear we will labor for Him. However, that labor will not be in vain. We have a great reward. It’s the reward of pleasing the One Who so Graciously gave us everything! It’s the reward of spending eternity with Christ in great joy. That’s our victory. Sin, death, the law … they can’t do anything to us now. We are on our way to the great resurrection. Jesus rose and so will we!
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.