through His Word
Guest blogger Sherry Carter shares the second devotion in our series, “What Easter Means to Me.” May your heart be blessed as she celebrates the miracles of Easter.
Every year, Easter becomes more powerful!
What a miracle: the power of God raised Jesus from the dead, and that same power will raise me to eternal life! The longer I live, the more I hunger for that day.
Recently, I realized a joyous truth: the Resurrection is so much more than the promise of eternal life; it is the cornerstone of a miracle that began with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
We are forgiven and cleansed: the power of sin is broken, and death is defeated through the glory of Christ’s resurrection!
Good Friday—as a young Christian, I couldn’t see anything good about it. Jesus died! He had to die because of my sins. I couldn’t get past the idea that it was my fault. Slowly I began to understand that Good Friday was good because of Resurrection Sunday.
The people who loved Jesus didn’t focus on the hope of His resurrection. To them, His death was a thundering defeat. To those who hated Him, His death was cause for celebration. His followers missed the power of His words: It is finished.
With His death, our wages are paid—finally, once for all. If we believe that He took the punishment we deserve, we are redeemed—bought and paid for. We will never face God’s wrath.
How would I be different if I walked in the joy of this truth? How about you? I admit, sometimes I hold my breath, and I expect God to zap me into a lump of coal. I carry around the “I can’t believe I did that again” guilt. Praise God, we don’t have to walk in fear of punishment. Jesus took it! We are free from guilt, fear, and condemnation. If that isn’t good news, I don’t know what is!
But what if the story ended there—Jesus paid the debt for our sin but the power of sin and death weren’t broken?
But it isn’t the end, Sunday morning is coming!
But also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:24-25, NIV
Justification—a fancy word for “case dismissed.” When Jesus burst forth from the grave, He proclaimed, “Sin is overcome, and death is defeated!” He died carrying our sin—He left it in the grave and declared us cleansed. Not only is the price paid, we are washed as white as snow. As we picture in baptism, we take part in His death, and we are raised as a new creation: forgiven and brand-spankin’ new. He stripped off our sin, but He didn’t leave us naked. He gave us a cloak of righteousness. Our sins aren’t just erased; they’re replaced! Hold your head up, and walk like an innocent person, because you are in God’s sight.
And it just gets better: death is defeated, destroyed, vaporized. The Resurrection is God’s version of a nuclear weapon against spiritual death. Jesus is alive, and so are we. The awesome thing is that we don’t have to wait for our bodies to die to enjoy eternal life. Listen to what Jesus said: I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24, NIV (Emphasis mine.)
We have eternal life right now. Sin is destroyed, and we are pure. Death is conquered, and we are alive today.
Can I hear an…
Amen! Hallelujah! Praise God! Thank you, Jesus! Celebrate! Dance in the streets!
© Copyright 2015 by Sherry Carter
Sherry Carter's first Bible study, Storms of Life, won the Award of Excellence in Christian Literature at the 2007 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and was published in December 2010. Her desire is to bring God’s Word to life in women’s hearts.
For several years, she worked as an engineer in NASA’s Shuttle Program. After a series of agonizing crises, culminating in a layoff, God brought about an abrupt career change: Sherry, the engineer, became a Christian author. God’s still working on that transformation; she’s a work in progress!
Sherry currently lives in west Texas where she and her husband are in service to their adopted retired-racing greyhound. She has two daughters and two perfect grandchildren, all who have the audacity to live in the Northeast.
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Storms of Life is available online. Click here to see it!Easter, Jesus’ resurrection, justification, new life, eternal life, Sherry Carter