Real Life"Call upon Him and know that He hears your voice. He has made you His very own and His life is available to you."
Oh, the inexpressible joy of Easter season! This is the perfect time for each of us to deal honestly with ourselves about who we are and who we’re supposed to be. But best of all, we rejoice in what God has done for us so that we really can be the people He longs for us to be. “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 10:10).
God knows everything about each of our lives. He knows our failures, regrets, the terrible things we’ve done that have hurt others. He knows all our wounds and griefs. He sees our addictions and chains of slavery from thinking about money all the time, to being liked by others, to being unable to love others. He knows the misery of our lives, the ridiculous spiritual darkness of our land, the evil of our culture of death to which we are numbed.
“There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone” (1 Tim 2:5-6).
The unfathomable wonder is that God loves all humankind. Certainly not because we are loveable, but because He is Love (1 John 4:8, 16). Our only hope for our dilemma is that God Himself became one of us—a person of misery and pain. “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
We cannot see a way to escape our corrupted lives. “What we do see is Jesus … and because he suffered death for us, he is now ‘crowned with glory and honor.’ Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).
“Our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins … by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:12-14).
You might be thinking, “Give me a break. That’s going a bit too far! I’d love just to be forgiven so I don’t have to go to hell. But I never signed up for being holy. And everyone knows that’s not even possible in this life.”
Well, on Easter morning Jesus is looking at you right in the face; He bears residual scars, having just returned from battle in hell between your guilt and His Love, where He beat sin and death to death. He’s saying to you, “Excuse Me? What you want from Me is weak fantasy. I’ve come to live, to die, and to rise in order to make you real.”
Because Christ was raised from death, the judgment on us has been lifted, and we are resurrected with Christ (1 Cor. 15:20-23)! We can be united to Jesus Christ because He became human. If we will receive Christ’s life by surrendering to Him through repentance and faith, entrusting our lives to Him, what’s true about Him becomes true about us.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20 NIV).
“…With him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins” (Colossians 2:12-13). “You have died with Christ, and he has set you free” (Col. 2:20). “You have been raised to new life with Christ … You died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God … Christ is your life … Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (Col. 3:1-4, 10).
The incarnate, crucified, resurrected Jesus bears the new, real humanity in Himself. He has pursued us to the depths of our depravity by becoming human. In His resurrection He has called a new creation into being.
He’s calling you! You can be the fully human person you, in reality, are.
“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view … This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! … For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them … We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:16-17, 19-21).
Bonhoeffer taught that the evil in us cringes before Jesus. Before Him, fear and anxiety are afraid; they shake and take flight. Jesus Christ, the One who was crucified and now lives, banished fear to nothingness. He conquered fear, captured, and executed sinfulness and death. Jesus is the victory cry over the fear of death, over the fear that you can never be pure and whole. He alone is the Lord over sinful nature; it yields to Him alone.
Therefore, lift up your heart. He is risen! Call upon Him and know that He hears your voice. He has made you His very own and His life is available to you.
Lord Jesus, Master, Redeemer, Savior, come and take entire possession of me; this is Your right by purchase. In Your arms of love, enfold and subdue and recreate my life. Amen.
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