The resurrection of Christ was the single most powerful event in history. It distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. It had such implications for mankind that recorded history marked events before the birth of Christ (B.C.), and after His death (A.D.).
On a personal level, the resurrection means the difference between life and death, hope and despair, meaning and futility, heaven and hell. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God [through Christ] is eternal life…” Romans 6:7 adds that we have “been freed from sin” through the cross and the resurrection.
Although Christ overcame the powers of darkness, spiritual warfare still exists: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Although we have been freed from the bondage of sin, overcoming it can be a difficult battle. The Apostle Paul declares, “our old man was crucified with [Christ], that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:6). But in the next chapter he states, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Romans 7:19). His lament continues in verse twenty-four: “Who will free me from this life of sin?” It leaves one to ask,“If I’m dead to sin why is it still alive in me?”
How can Paul declare that he is dead to sin, yet also admit that he struggles with it? Romans 6:16 holds the answer: “Whatever you choose to obey becomes your master.” You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and experience freedom. Sin has no dominion [control] over us, but it does have influence. Being tempted isn’t sin—surrendering to it is (Christ was tempted in the wilderness).
Temptation can also be an opportunity to do what is right by turning from it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 states, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
The door of temptation swings both ways. You can enter or exit. The key is to make choices that promote spiritual victory, not defeat. Paul was not saying that he has no power over sin, rather he was acknowledging sins influence, “once you were slaves of sin” (6:17). A slave is owned by another; they are dominated and controlled by their master. Life here on earth is strongly influenced by the enemy, but Christians do not have to be controlled by him.
James 1:14 reminds us that “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” The excuse, “The devil made me do it,” is not accurate. He can’t make you do anything; he can only entice, influence, and suggest. Sin is present in this world, but its power over us is crucified when we believe in Christ. The only way to stand against the enemy is to stand strong in your faith, and turn from sin. A half-hearted approach will not work.
For those who have not experienced a genuine relationship with God—the true meaning of Easter—Acts 3:19 encourages you with these words, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” The resurrection and the cross set us free from sin and death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
No matter what you’ve done, you have the opportunity to believe in Jesus and be forgiven and released from your past. A true measure of a man is not who he was, but who he will become. Acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior (Rom 3:23). Acknowledge that Jesus died for your sins (John 3:16). Repent and turn from your sins (Acts 3:19). Live your life for Him (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Jesus encouraged His followers to be watchful, prepared, and ready for His return. Are you watchful, prepared, and ready? What does the resurrection mean to you? You don’t want to live your life with a question mark here.
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