I love Easter because it is a reminder of the new life we have in Jesus. I love reflecting on the foundation of our faith and resting in it. Resting in the truth that Jesus lived among us, died for us, and conquered death, paving the way for an eternal life with a loving, merciful Savior. But did you know eternal life with Jesus starts now? It isn’t a far off dream that begins when our life here on earth is done. Eternal life with Jesus started when you decided to be a follower of Jesus. After the resurrection, I believe the disciples understood this and it changed their lives forever.
Before Jesus’s death, the disciples had walked with Jesus for years. They watched Jesus perform amazing miracles and listened to his teachings. They were some of his closest friends and followers. Yet as close as they were, they all ran in fear when Jesus was arrested. Despite all the evidence of Jesus’s deity, fear in what would happen to their physical bodies was greater than their faith.
However, after Jesus rose from the dead, their fear was transformed into boldness. Those who had previously run from the soldiers when Jesus was arrested, were now willing to be beaten, imprisoned, and even killed for the good news of Jesus’s resurrection.
So what changed? What would cause a person who just months before ran in fear for his life so he wouldn’t be associated with Jesus, to now turn around and gladly take a beating for the name of Jesus? The answer: The truth of the resurrection.
The truth of the resurrection means eternal life with Jesus starts now. We get to live this life and the next with Jesus by our side. And just like the disciples, the truth of the resurrection has a transformational impact on how we live.
We get to live in confidence. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commissioned the disciples to continue to make disciples and further the kingdom of God. He ended his commission with these comforting words: “I will be with you always.” Not, “I will be with you after you get all your work done and you come to heaven with me.” He promises to be with us always and that includes now.
Before the resurrection, the disciples ran in fear because they thought they lost their Lord. Now they could live confidently, because they knew they would never lose him again. He would always be with them–a gift no one could take away. This confidence allowed them to boldly go into the world and preach the good news of Jesus.
We get to live in power. Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples they would receive power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them. They would receive great power to witness about Jesus (Acts 1:8). As you continue to read in the book of Acts, you see evidence of this. Peter boldly proclaimed the message of Jesus on the day of Pentecost and thousands were saved, and despite persecution, the church grew.
But this promise of power wasn’t just for the disciples who walked with Jesus. It is for us, too! Ephesians 1:18-20 shares a prayer Paul often prayed for the Ephesians.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”
Wow. Paul said that as Christians, we have the power of the Holy Spirit. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available for our lives. The resurrection made it possible for us to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is Christ living in us. How amazing is that?!
We get to live in peace. In John 16, Jesus warned the disciples of what was coming for them. He was going to die and ascend into heaven. After his ascension, they would preach the message for him and because of that they would face intense persecution. However, he would send the Holy Spirit as a comforter to help them. As he finishes up his warnings, Jesus tells them, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
In this world we will have trouble. You probably know this truth well. But we can have peace in our struggles knowing Jesus has already conquered the world. The end has already been written. We have already won the battle through Jesus’s death and resurrection. The disciples knew, when they were beaten or even killed, it didn’t matter because they were already living eternal life with their Savior now and nothing could take that away. The truth of the resurrection gave them peace to handle life’s hardships with confidence, knowing Jesus had overcome the world and their salvation was secure.
So what would your life look like if you lived daily in the truth of the resurrection? What would your life look like if you lived in confidence knowing your Savior walks the ups and downs with you every day? What would it look like to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and live into God’s calling in your life? Finally, what would it look like to live in peace knowing Jesus has already overcome the world?
It would look different for each of us, but one thing I know for sure, your life would be dramatically changed like the disciples’ lives changed. You could walk in boldness and faith, living out the truth of the resurrection, and it would change the world as we allow God to work through each of us to accomplish His work. So my prayer is that we do not leave the truth of the resurrection to one Sunday a year, but we live the truth of the resurrection every day and watch in awe as God changes the world through us!