Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! The Lord is risen. He is risen indeed.
These words at the beginning of our Easter services set the tone for the next 50 days in our liturgical calendar. In reality, they set the tone for the rest of our lives on into eternity. The empty tomb found by the women on that first Easter is a reminder that Jesus is on the loose and that nothing is safe. The resurrected body of Jesus declares, even in its wounds, that “it is finished”; and that a new life awaits each of us to be transformed day by day by the work of the Holy Spirit. We can be different even though life still throws hard knocks at us. We no longer live on the Good Friday side of the tomb asking, “Who will roll away the stone?” Rather, we now live on the other side of the tomb being called by Jesus to meet him in Galilee. Where’s Galilee? It is wherever you meet Jesus.
The joy of the Easter season is that we have new life now. Are you dying to habitual patterns of sin? Do you feel and experience the resurrection power promised? The transformation that is available to us is a constant daily rhythm of death and resurrection. We cannot experience the resurrected life until we die. And, by God’s grace, we die daily to sin as we live for Him. We actually can see ourselves moving toward a life of moral perfection. Dallas Willard asked the question, “Why are we more scared of the word perfection then we are the word sin?” I believe it is because we would rather live in the gray area of indifference and not knowing and thereby feel less culpable. I ask you, is that the best that the death and resurrection of the son of God can do?
I recently shared with my congregation the words of Jesus as He appears to disciples in the upper room in John 20 and breathes on them the Holy Spirit. This is the power we are given so we can actually know Christ, not just know about him. Be prepared to meet Christ in a new way in the weeks to come as we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised.