Nothing compares to the reality of the resurrection. It is the cornerstone of Christianity and the foundation upon which our salvation stands. Nothing can bring more hope and joy to the heart of a Christian than the knowledge that Jesus Christ conquered death, and that through Him death no longer has any hold on His children. Thankfulness pours out to God from His church every Easter Sunday, no matter what condition or situation the church finds herself in. Nothing can shake the hope of Christians in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
However, as humans all too often do, Christians can be forgetful. We can forget that thankfulness is only half of the appropriate response to the resurrection.
First Peter 2:21-25 lays the matter out plainly:
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth’; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Peter tells us that Christ’s death and resurrection did not just remove our guilt and make us right before God, although that would have been enough for us to be greatly thankful for. Christ’s work went beyond that. “By His stripes” we were healed from the disease of slavery to sin and freed, at last, to live in obedience to God. “By His stripes” we are healed from being sheep gone astray. “By His stripes” we were returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls so that we might follow in His righteous footsteps.
Let’s not misunderstand this. Easter is not just a cause to sit and be grateful. It is a joyful command to be obedient and submissive to God.
If the reality of the resurrection does not cause us to live differently and strive even more to walk faithfully in God’s commandments, we have not truly understood what the work of Christ, including His resurrection, has done for us.
(Editor's Note: this article was first published at the Engage Magazine website HERE).