By Pastor Joe Cormier
One of the central themes of Easter is celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. This is a truth that must not be overlooked. The idea of being raised again to new life can seem foreign and maybe even other worldly. In the western world, we tend to shy away from anything supernatural and that includes the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Maybe we dismiss this as a myth or a religious idea, however, there is nothing further from the truth.
The resurrection is what makes the gospel good and as believers, we must remember that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). The resurrection is something that we should not be ashamed of but we must embrace as the central theme for this time of year. Jesus’ resurrection is our resurrection.
Hope in winter
Each year, we look forward to this season of Spring. It is a time that we get to see new life come again upon trees and vegetation where life begins to explode upon the landscapes all around us. The cold winter (and especially this winter) is behind us and we can look forward to fresh fruits along with the pleasant sights and smells of a new season. I know that this is hard to picture, but could you imagine only having an image of the world that is in the winter and everything around you is dead looking? A world where we only see the exposed branches and brown dead looking grass.
Our image of the world would be pretty depressing and bleak and one that I don’t think any of us would want to live in. The most amazing thing about winter is that this is part of the process which brings new life to the earth. Although the things around us might look dead, we know that there is coming a new season where life will spring forth. This is the hope of resurrection!
The Resurrection requires death to the old. In the book of John chapter 3, Jesus tells a man seeking after truth that he must be born again. We understand that this is not a physical re–birth, but a being born again of the spirit through Jesus Christ. I remember as a young man there was a time when I was dead in my sins and became the source of many offenses toward others in my life. I looked a lot like the trees of winter and was very vulnerable and exposed.
Although I had grown up in church and attended many Sunday school classes, I had not fully understood the reality of what Jesus meant when He said that “you must be born again.” I would raise my hand when the minister would ask, “who wants to have a new life in Jesus?” That sounded really good to me at that time. A new life seemed like a great idea since the one that I was living was not very appealing. Being born again is not simply a “reset” button that we can hit in our lives. I didn’t need a “reset;” I needed a resurrection!
The Resurrection gives life to those who believe. When we make Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and believe that He was crucified and raised to new life, our lives begin to change. Not only are we invited to put to death our old way and be free from sin and its accompanying shame, but we are raised to new life with Jesus Christ and given a new hope and a new purpose in this life and for eternity. We are changed from a season of winter and life begins to spring forth within us. Romans 6:4 illustrates this point “therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Let this season of Easter be a reminder of the resurrection of Jesus and know that His resurrection is your resurrection!
Rev. Joe Cormier is the Sr. Pastor at First Assembly of God Church in Youngsville, LA where he serves together with his wife Shannon and three teenage children.