17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Happy Resurrection Sunday!
How are you today? Did you manage to gobble up all your favorite candies from your children’s/niece’s/nephew’s/cousin’s/your own Easter basket before the service? Is your new Easter outfit still intact? Have you recovered from the food coma people typically undergo after having a nice, big holiday meal?
We have some funny ways of celebrating the Lord on His day, but okay. It’s all good.
As Christians, Easter is the day we love to celebrate. We love to worship a Savior who was betrayed, mocked, beaten, crucified, and who rose from the dead victorious, because He did it all out of love for us. He sure didn’t need to leave the perfect splendor of heaven, the worship of angels, and the command of the universe for His sake!
His death and resurrection birthed a new species of humans on this planet never known before in the history of the universe (1 Peter 2:10). Does that sound like a new science fiction series: “The New Humans”? (As opposed to the current series Humans which involves human-like robots. We’re not robots!)
This new species is composed of humans who are born again, a race of individuals who were firstborn physically and later born again spiritually (John 3:3-7). These humans are those who have personally and willfully experienced the resurrection of Christ in their own hearts and lives (Romans 8:9-11). The proof that the resurrected life is surging through our existence is the consistent and ongoing transformation of our values, motives, thoughts, attitudes, behavior, habits, words, and love, Galatians 2:20 and 5:16-25.
If you have personally asked Jesus into your heart and life to be your Lord and your Savior, then you are a member of the new species. The former you, who was spiritually incorrigible, unwilling, unresponsive, and antagonistic to the Spirit of God, became permanently invaded, infused and transformed by that same Holy Spirit. The outer shell will begin the process of deterioration after we have reached our physical peak in our late 20’s to early 30’s, but the Bible teaches that our inward humanity is renewed daily by His Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:16).
What does Christ’s resurrection really mean for us single Christians?
First and foremost, His resurrection means that I can leave the past, the old me, the former me, behind, no matter how horrid or sinful or dark or guilty or long ago it was, Colossians 1:13-14. It does not matter if it was sin that we committed or sin that was committed against us. His forgiveness may not change the consequences that you are suffering in this life, but it covers everything you did before you became a Christian.
Did you have an abortion or cause an abortion? Forgiven. Covered. Did you have a divorce or three? Forgiven. Covered. Were you involved in an extra-marital affair and perhaps even caused the divorce? Forgiven. Covered. Did you murder someone or accidentally kill someone in another state by hitting them with your car in the darkness of night? Forgiven. Covered. Did you live together with a former lover and never got married? Forgiven. Covered. Did you use, abuse and even sell substances, whether alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medication? Forgiven. Covered. Did you abandon your children and your spouse? Forgiven. Covered. Did you steal money from your parents or a former employer? Forgiven. Covered. Did you molest a child? Forgiven. Covered. Did you live a good life as a religious person but refused to acknowledge your need for Christ? Forgiven. Covered. Did you practice the homosexual lifestyle? Forgiven. Covered. Were you a prideful and intellectual atheist who openly mocked Christians? Forgiven. Covered. Were you an idolator who worshiped material wealth and the power money brought? Forgiven. Covered. Was there something you did before you became a Christian that I didn’t list that is still bugging you? Forgiven. Covered. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
His forgiveness covers everything you did last night. It covers everything you did 24 minutes before you turned to the Internet and started reading my article. It covers everything you will do in the future. His forgiveness is absolutely complete, Isaiah 43:25.
Think about it: all our sins were in the future, from the perspective of the cross and the resurrection. However, He was able to forgive us in 1956 or 1966 or 1976 or 2006 or 2016—whenever it was that we asked Him to be our Lord—from the cross, based on His death in 34 AD. When Jesus became Our Lord and took us over, all our sins, which were past, present, and future from our perspective, were forgiven immediately. Every single thing we ever did was forgiven, pardoned, acquitted, discharged. We will never, ever, ever have to pay the eternal consequences for our sin, Psalm 103:12. We oughta shout, Thank you, Jesus!
This also covers everything bad, evil, and hurtful that happened to you, whether as a child, adolescent or adult. Did you have an accident, miscarriage, disease, or disaster? Did your best friend abandon you for a new best friend, or your mother abandon your family for a new daddy? Were one or both of your parents absent, neglectful, strict, alcoholic, hateful, lecherous, poor, racist, violent? Were you beat up by your brother, molested by your uncle, humiliated by your sister, disappointed by your pastor, shot at by your neighbor, manipulated by your boss, misled by your professor? His cleansing and healing are perfectly restorative. 1 John 1:9 says that He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, not just sin or sins, when we confess ours.
His resurrection means we can move forward, starting today, from a new and fresh start, 1 Corinthians 2:9. When you are a Christian, every day is a new day!
His resurrection means we can endure our singleness with dignity, strength, and purpose because He is living His single life in and through us, Romans 6:5-6, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, and 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
His resurrection means we can love the unlovable people whom God sends our way because He first loved us and He gives us His love to love them with, Ephesians 4:32 and Luke 6:27-36.
His resurrection means that while we are suffering and hurting, or being oppressed and persecuted, He will not abandon us in our pain, Malachi 3:16 and Romans 8:18. He will animate and energize us to not only survive, but thrive, under the most deplorable conditions, Romans 8:37-39.
His resurrection in our lives is the promissory note and down payment on the resurrection that He will perform in the rest of the universe and our eventual perfection according to His promise and power, 1 John 3:2, Romans 8:19-23, and Philippians 1:6.
So… to summarize: when we became Christians, something old—our sinful selves determined to go to hell by default—became something new, a new creation destined to go to heaven forever. If you remember from my previous article 2 weeks ago, “The Hot Potato of Singleness,” the Greek word for new in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “kainos,” means “something recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of” (online Blue Letter Bible, Classic Version http://www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2537&t=KJV).
Hello, you new creation, freed from the past, empowered for the present, and promised for a future that’s totally going to blow our minds!
So you can look in the mirror tonight and give yourself the ancient traditional Paschal greeting before going to bed:
He has risen.
He has risen indeed!
And you can add:
And He has risen in my heart. May I never forget it!
Say it again tomorrow morning.