Three Things to Think About this Easter
Over the last couple of years in the evening service, I have been preaching through the Gospel, talking about our sin and misery, how we are delivered from that sin and misery, and how we are to give thanks for that deliverance. As part of that service, we are reciting some of the questions and answers from the Heidelberg Catechism (copies are available in the narthex). Easter is this month and much of the world is again exposed to the Christian teaching that Jesus rose from the grave. Many reject this out of hand, but as Christians, we embrace the truth of the resurrection with joy. I thought I’d give you three things to think about this Easter right from the Heidelberg Catechism, three benefits of the resurrection:
How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?
First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he could make us share in the righteousness which he had obtained for us by his death.
Second, by his power we too are raised up to a new life.
Third, Christ’s resurrection is to us a sure pledge of our glorious resurrection.
The first benefit is an ASSURANCE of SALVATION benefit. Forgiveness of sins is accomplished and the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us! The resurrection is a declaration that the cross work worked. He died for us and then He conquered death for us. Jesus was “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification,” Paul says. We couldn’t forgive ourselves, we couldn’t give life to ourselves. Christ’s resurrection guarantees both.
The second benefit is a LIVING RIGHT NOW benefit. As a Christian, you already have new life. You are no longer dead in your sins. You have been raised up, made alive in Christ. You are free now by the power of the Spirit to live a life of holiness, of Christlikeness, out of gratitude for His saving work in you. You are free now from having to chase after the things of this world, from being driven by the lust of the eyes and of the flesh. In Christ, the life of vanity is over and there is real life, real joy instead.
Finally, there is a HOPE benefit. Christ’s resurrection guarantees our own. So we can look forward in hope. During our time here, we are easily undone. Our bodies are weak, our spirits can be easily discouraged and battered around, temptations to sin abound. But none of this is forever. We too shall be raised.
So there are three things for us to think about this Easter. May the LORD bless us as we rejoice in the resurrection of Christ together.