Jesus’ life, death and resurrection leads us to thoughts of forgiveness of sin but we should keep in mind that it brought victory over circumstances that can bind us. That first Easter also brought about reconciliation and restored our possibility of having a harmonious relationship and eternity with God.
Our relationship was broken when Adam and Eve decided to live outside God’s guidance. Since that day the powers of evil have contributed to negative habits and behaviours of humanity that are less than admirable. The choice to live as we desire is a gift from God but He intended for us to include Him in our life. When Adam and Eve allowed temptation to focus on self it prevented them from having the relationship God intended for humanity. God did not give up on His creation and set about mending the relationship. Jesus took human form to help us better understand and connect to Him. His earthly ministry reminded us of God’s expectations for all to love Him with our complete being and to love those around us. Jesus taught that a mended relationship was not only possibly but desired by God. The reconciliation became real when Jesus allowed Himself to be taken to the cross to die. When He arose three days later He not only sent the message that God was in control of the universe and that evil did not control the destiny of humanity, but that God desire us and wants us to desire Him.
Anyone who has planted a garden knows that care is required to keep it healthy. Weeds that once owned the garden area, want to reclaim it and only our desire and effort can keep that garden area new. If we wish for the garden to keep its new purpose, we must maintain it by constant weeding, cultivating, and watering. Jesus promised His believers that we would become new creations because He was going to dwell in us. He was going to help us keep our relationship with Him strong. When we believe we realize that Jesus is in His Father, and we are in Him, and He is in us. We must maintain and cultivate our new lives by seeking to overcome self defeating behaviours that bind us. We must always be doing something to improve our connection to God. We should remember our new life is much more powerful that the evil around us and that it exits because we are in relationship with God.
Easter’s message is about forgiveness of sin however we must not forget it also brought about victory over conditions that bind us. Reconciliation with God can bring hope to those who struggle to break free from the chains of mental health issues, addiction, shame, guilt. They don’t need to be forgiven for these afflictions but released from them and Jesus’ victory at the cross offers this. They need to hear how Christ in them will create a new being from which good will flow and changes occur.
With God’s grace the truth of Jesus message can be heard and understood. Jesus’ truth is about new life and freedom. Will you take some time to think what that means to you and then pray asking how you can share the message of reconciliation with someone else. When you look at the cross this Easter, remember it symbolizes the sacrifice and suffering Jesus went through to bring you a new life. Will you remember those who need to be freed and invite them to hear the Easter story?