Many times we have been caught up with the joy of the Easter Season, and we forget the underlying message of the season: The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have given us the opportunity to relive our lives in accord with the plan of God.
Because of the forgiveness we have received through his death on the cross, we, too, have been resurrected when Jesus rose from death, and our lives are now hidden in Christ (Col 3.3). The presence of God in our lives should propel us to step into a world that is full of possibilities, a life that is more focused, more enjoyable and more content.
However, this abundant life that Jesus has promised (Jn 10:10) is anchored on three conditions:
The first condition is that we all must accept that the hope of new life begins with Jesus. In Greek, the name Jesus also means Joshua which also means Jehovah which also means salvation. In effect, what the Bible is saying is that Jesus came to this world not for his own sake, but for men and for our salvation.
It is He who came to this world to save us because we cannot save ourselves from sin and its consequences. No matter how good we are, we cannot eliminate our sinful nature. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus didn’t come to help people save themselves; He came down to be our Savior from the power and penalty of sin. Because Easter is also a season of thanksgiving, let us take time to thank Jesus Christ for his death on the cross for our sin, and then ask him to take control of our life.
The second condition is that we all must believe that the new life we now have is guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus. St. Paul, in Rom 6:5, said, “For you have become a part of him, and so you died with him, so to speak, when he died; and now you share in his new life, and shall rise as he did.”
What this means is that we can enjoy our new life in Christ if we believe that we are united with him in his death and resurrection.
Our evil desires, our bondage to sin, and our love of sin died with him. Now that we are united by faith with him in his resurrection, we must believe that we are ushered into an unbroken fellowship with God and freedom from the hold of sin on us.
St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians stated: “Assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.” (Eph 4:21-24)
The third condition is that if we want to live in the new life that Jesus promised, we should be willing to confess not only with our lips but with our actions as well what Jesus has done for us. Again, St. Paul tells us: “For, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” (Rom 10:9-10)