Mar 30, 2018

East . er (ˋdo ōver) n. A Christian holiday

There is a reason why Christians celebrate Easter with such enthusiasm.  Well, actually, there are two reasons.  Well, wait.  Now that I think about it, there are actually three reasons.

The celebration begins, of course, with the Resurrection of Christ.  Resurrection Celebration Reason #1:  We have a Living Savior!  

And, indeed, it is crucial that we have a Living Jesus in order that we might experience the absolutely astounding completion of God’s redemptive process for humanity.  And, this mysterious redemptive twist is one which no one saw coming until these New Testament times.

So, the vibrant Living Christ springs from the tomb, leaving it entirely empty.  And, from the vitality of this now Living Savior, springs the most fantastic human opportunity one could imagine.  Resurrection Celebration Reason #2:  The opportunity to become truly and thoroughly new in the here-and-now! 

It is true.  The Resurrection is about nothing less than the opportunity for a magnificent “Do-over,” for human beings – only this time, with a much better, Living Christ-empowered result. 

Jesus said, “I came that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”  Little did the world realize, at the time, what Jesus was actually forecasting by this statement.  

Indeed, He was offering to allow humanity to symbiotically share in His own renewing character essence.  This was that wonderful redemptive twist which no one really saw coming until it actually happened. 

But, the New Testament Church has now been able to clearly understand that the believer's thorough personal renewal entirely results from this empowering Spiritual merger between the devout believer's character essence and that of the Living Christ.  And, we also now know that this Spiritual interconnection between the believer and the Living Christ occurs through the specific redemptive event which the Church calls the Spiritual Baptism.   

This very unique occurrence, initially arranged and then sustained by the Holy Spirit, intimately, connects the believer to Christ’s value system and, thus, His correct perspectives on life's circumstances (His divine truth).  And, this new Christ-based view of life, stemming from the believe's now Christ-based value system, is, indeed, God's ultimate redemptive goal for the New Testament believer.

And, as previously described, this event changes everything for the believer.  Indeed, it is this pivotal event which is the ultimate "Target Event" of the New Testament experience following one's initial embrace of the Lordship of Christ.     

The Bible speaks of this mysterious Spiritual connection to the Living Christ in various places like this one in the Book of Collossians.  Here it simply says, "...To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." 

The Apostle Paul framed it this way in the Book of Romans.  “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors - not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

And this wonderful, here-and-now transformation of the believer's character and life circumstance brings us to Resurrection Celebration Reason #3:  Everlasting Life!  Indeed, it is true, this Spiritual symbiosis with the Living Christ not only empowers the believer's new physical life, but also his or her eternal life.    

Again, the Apostle Paul framed it this way in the Book of Corinthians. "But, now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." 

So, Jesus rose again to life by the power of the divine Spirit.  And so it shall also be with those devout believers who are, Spiritually enjoined to Christ in this life.   They shall be, not only empowered to newness in this life, but also, by the same divine Spirit, empowered to an abundant everlasting life.

So, when you think about it, all of the reasons for which we celebrate Easter only relentlessly beg one very simple question.  It is this: “Do you want to be new in the Living Christ?”  

Indeed, the true joy of Easter can only really "sing" in our heart and in our life to the music of this desperate and delighted answering chorus.  “Yes! Yes! By all means, Yes!  Make me new, Lord Jesus!”