Today we celebrate Easter! It is a day of Great Joy! Jesus Savior, our Lord and Savior has risen!
It had appeared that Jesus was defeated by his enemies who had him arrested, “tried”, and crucified on a Cross but the Resurrection shows us that the Cross is not a sign of defeat. Christ is victorious over even death! The Cross is a sign of God’s love for us and his victory over sin. Jesus was obedient even to the point of death and for this God has exalted him, raised him up in the Resurrection.
The news gets better. Jesus promises us a share in the Resurrection! All we have to do is die with Christ.
All we have to do is die with Christ?
Now, it is unlikely that any of us will spent the last twenty-four hours of our earthly lives like Jesus who prayed in the Garden, was arrested, “tried,” beaten, mocked, scourged, and crucified but we are called to die with him.
Dying with Christ is not a question of the manner of our earthly death. Dying with Christ is about the way we live our lives. Think about this – the enemies of Jesus had not been able to capture Jesus before, why now? Because Jesus handed himself over. Jesus handed himself over not to his enemies but to his Father’s will. Jesus gave himself over to the Father’s Will in love. In fact, Jesus did this not in just his last 24 hours but throughout his whole ministry; his whole life. Everything Jesus did was about doing the Father’s will and helping (teaching) us to do the same.
Our dying with Christ begins in our baptism when we are reborn in the Spirit. But it does not end there. It is the way we are called to live our lives. We are called to always seek to do the Father’s Will. Is it easy? No. The things of this world can be tempting. Things like food and water are necessary for earthly life and are in fact good as the Lord’s creation. The problem is when we make earthly things more important than God. That is when we go down the path of sin.
It is difficult to always life as God calls us. We can fail and sin. But there is hope; hope that Jesus gives us. How? By dying for us on a Cross, Jesus pays the price for our sins. We can rejoice in the love that Jesus shows us; a love that is without bounds. We cannot take this love for granted. We must always try to do our best. We must always do what we can to avoid sin, to stay away from the temptations that are too difficult for us to resist; to always strive to do the Father’s will.
Then, when we do sin, we turn to Christ, who hung upon the Cross, and in the Resurrection proved that he is victorious over even sin and death.
Jesus Christ is Risen Today! Alleluia.