Easter is behind us again for another year and life seems to go on as usual. But before we race off to the next Church Calendar event, the Ascension, it’s good to just pause and consider the full impact of Easter. Surely what was accomplished at Calvary is more than just a weekend of eating chocolate Easter bunnies and other family celebrations for Christians.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 6:11, that Christians must consider themselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. There is never a time when we should diminish the beauty of being alive to God in Christ Jesus. That is one of the great effects of Easter. At one time, we were dead to God in our sins and trespasses but now, because of the Holy Spirit’s quickening power, we are alive to God, all because of what Jesus accomplished at Calvary. So, thanks be to God for the new life we have in Christ and may we live in the joy of it every day of our lives.
However, there is a danger that because we are now alive in Christ we may become dismissive of what Paul mentions first, namely that we are now dead to sin. That is also an important effect of Easter. Although we live in the age of grace, may we never be accused of peddling cheap grace. Paul strongly condemns such an approach to Christ’s saving work (Rom 6:1-2). Andrew Kuyvenhoven suggests that when people become ‘careless and profane’ it only occurs when churches are peddling cheap grace. It will never happen if churches preach the gospel. The ‘careless and profane’ behaviour occurs when teachers and preachers are selling and people are buying grace without Christ. In other words, the gift without the giver.
Scripture teaches that in Adam, all have sinned. There is none righteous, not even one. All have turned away, there is no one who does good (Rom 3:9ff). Scripture also teaches that those who are saved by Christ are no longer ‘Adam-people’ but ‘Christ-people.’ It’s no longer sin that has dominion over us for we now live in the power of the Holy Spirit and are in Christ. We are now baptised into Christ. Christ died and so did we. Christ rose and so did we! It’s no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me!
So, don’t just let Easter come and go. Let us allow what Christ has achieved for us at Calvary to govern our lives. Let us exercise the precious gift of faith we have received by no longer grieving the Holy Spirit in carelessly sinning, but by His power striving to now live for God, being made alive in Christ. JZ