Eighteen months ago, I bought a brand new car. I planned to buy a used car, but Toyota was running a special on new Priuses, and I desperately wanted one (it’s hard to beat 50 MPG!). Even better than the gas mileage is the new car smell.
I desperately want a new life. I don’t mean to imply that I’m unhappy or down on life or miserable or any such thing. I mean I’d like a life where I’m not in constant pain. I mean I’d like a life where I don’t need to be constantly on guard against the wiles of the devil. I mean I’d like a life where I don’t need to worry about losing my temper. I mean I’d like a life where I could run like I used to (yes, I loved running).
I’m not promised a bed of roses in this life. John the Baptizer knew that – he lost his head for telling Herod the truth. Paul knew that – he faced beating and shipwreck and abandonment and discouragement. Jesus knew that – He faced great temptation and abandonment from His closest friends and betrayal by one of the Twelve and false accusations and beating and public humiliation and crucifixion. If John and Paul and Jesus suffered, we shouldn’t be surprised when we suffer.
No matter how we suffer – whether from illness or sin or abandonment or discouragement or whatever else Satan throws at us – a new life is possible. That’s the message of the crucifixion. That’s the message of the resurrection.
This weekend the world pauses to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. Although the people of God meet every first day of the week to commemorate Jesus’ death and resurrection (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2), I’m thankful for Easter. I can’t help but thank God anytime someone thinks about Jesus.
In the death of Jesus, I find a new life. I no longer carry the guilt of my sin, for my sins were nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Through the death of Jesus, I die to my old life (1 Peter 2:24). Through the death of Jesus I die to my sin (Romans 6:2). No more guilt, no more shame, no more wallowing in the mire – a new life.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ brings me the hope of a new life. Jesus’ life was drastically altered by the resurrection – no more was His body lifeless and decaying but He was alive and a Victor over the grave. His body seems to have been different after the resurrection – He was not recognized by those closest to Him (John 20:14-15) and He was able to enter rooms without coming through the doors (John 20:19, 26). I cannot be certain, but I personally think that Jesus’ resurrected body was like what our resurrected bodies will be like (1 John 3:2).
I look forward to the Resurrection Day will all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5). I look forward to my new home. I look forward to my new relationship with God. I look forward to my new body. I look forward to a new life which shall never end.
This weekend as you think about the death and resurrection of Jesus, don’t forget to thank Him for making all things new! Jesus’ death and resurrection makes things far nearer than any new car smell — He brings new life and new hope and new purpose and a new home. God bless you!