Monday, April 6, 2009

The Power of a Raised Life

Jesus prayed fervently in the garden. So urgent was His petition that sweat fell from His brow to the ground as crimson blood. He asked the Father to find another way for mankind to be redeemed, a way other than the cross. If He went to the cross, he would experience separation from His Father. But Christ's prayers ended in full submission to God: “...nevertheless not my will, but Yours be done.”

Judas, one of the Lord's twelve close companions, betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Ultimately, Jesus hung on the cross. Nails shot through each of his wrists and one nail riveted through His ankles. He hung between two thieves, who also were sentenced to death by crucifixion. Christ's innocent blood poured down as He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” At his death, the ground shook and the temple veil - that separated us from the presence of God – ripped in half.

They laid his body in the tomb, and three days past. Mary Magdalene ventured early to the tomb on the first day of the week and saw that the stone had somehow rolled away from the tomb. She thought that thieves had stolen Jesus' body in the night. She ran to the disciples to tell them of the news. Later Mary wept outside the tomb and two angels appeared to her and asked, “Why are you weeping?” Then Jesus approached her. At first she thought he was the gardener, but when Jesus spoke her name tenderly, she believed.

Do you believe? Have you embraced the Answer to life's questions, the Answer to the hunger for satisfaction within. The solution to our quest for fulfillment is found only in the One who was raised from the dead. He died in our place so that we could also be raised to new life. When we accept what Christ did for us upon the cross as the payment for our sin, we experience His resurrection power in our lives. Romans 6:5-6 says, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

The resurrection power of God in our lives gives us dominion over sinful habits. He gives us the strength to say no to evil and yes to God. When we make the choice to surrender to Christ, His power fills us and transforms our nature. It's not that we become invincible or superhuman. No, we are weak in and of ourselves, but as we rely on Christ's life-giving power, through the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to walk in victory.

Let's examine our own hearts this Easter Season. Are we living for the Lord or are we going through the motions? Do we have a living and abiding relationship with the Risen One or do we just pretend to know Him? God wants to overshadow us with His grace and power. He wants to give us victory over the individual sin that we each struggle with. This Easter Season will you make a commitment to embrace what Christ has done for you? He is calling you to Himself. His love for you is limitless – He even died to prove it. If you have strayed from the path, He is only a prayer away. If you want to enter into a life-giving relationship with God, or if you would like to recommit your life to Christ, please pray a prayer like the one below.

Dear Lord Jesus,

I thank you for dying for me, and I believe You rose from the grave. I ask you to forgive me of my sin. I ask you to empower me to live a new life. I won't take what you did for me for granted. I surrender to you and ask you to take full control of my life. Thank you for forgiving me of my sin, and thank you that I will one day go to heaven because you paid the price. I choose to have an ongoing relationship with you my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer and you'd like to know what steps to take next, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

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