But the joy doesn’t just come from the resurrection itself.
The joy has come through Good Friday. Without Good Friday, Easter Sunday doesn’t happen. It can’t happen. It’s impossible. You can’t have a resurrection without a death.
Whenever we eat piece of fruit, or vegetables, we are eating something that was once alive but is now dead. When it was picked or fell to the ground, it died, and its seed had to die in order to give birth to the tree that sprouted it. And now that dead piece of fruit or vegatables will give life to us. It essentially gives its life for us. Indeed, if we eat meat, the we are eating something that was once alive, an animal, and that animal is providing us with life, with its goodness.
One life being lost, yet giving birth to new life.
Death and resurrection.
It’s a cycle of nature – but more than that, its at the heart of the rhythm of life itself.
Its all around us all the time, we see it in the seasons – leaves die in autumn and fall to the ground, and in the spring we see new leaves, new life. It goes on all the time. In order to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to go into chrysalis, a process of death and resurrection.
An ending, followed by a new beginning.
So it should be no surprise that this is the process that Jesus Himself enters into in order to bring us life. And today we celebrate the resurrection in the context of the cross, that Jesus took our sin upon Himself and reconciled all things on heaven and earth on the cross, and in the resurrection He has brought us new life, new hope, and true joy.
But there is more. At Easter Jesus invites us into a process of death and resurrection. It says in the New Testament that we are to die to ourselves, that we have been crucified with Christ – and the challenge of resurrection is to ask ourselves where Jesus is calling us into a new way of life. And in order to do that we need to enter into the death and resurrection of Jesus. We can’t have the new life, the joy, the transformation, without the resurrection, without first going through a kind of death.
There might be issues in our lives, areas where we are struggling, problems that we re facing, and in order to grow we need to die to this and let Jesus raise us up and bring us something new.
If you examine yourself, is there any part of your life you need to die to in order to move forward with Jesus?
Is there anything which you know you need to let go of?
Do you desire new life, a new beginning, but are feeling held back by something?
Maybe this Easter God is calling you to die to something so that He can bring you to life again. The resurrection challenges us to examine ourselves, and see what inside of us we need to die to, so we can fully experience His transforming life.
What areas of your life do you need the power of resurrection?
Are you willing to put certain things to death to allow yourself to really live?
Is resurrection a reality in your life?
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