For some churchgoers, the cross on Golgotha and empty tomb outside of Jerusalem become fatigued symbols that are dressed up every Easter. They’ve heard all the sermons preached on the crucifixion and resurrection, and thus, Easter Sunday enters the category of “been there, done that.”
Admittedly, I posit that every believer has waded into these waters before: You show up to service in your Sunday best and ready-to-order smile, yet there’s a lack of joy. The fire in Christ has cooled to withered embers, and life’s anxieties have done the dirty work to dim salvation’s good work. No one wants to be stuck in this swamp, so how does one get out of dead waters?
It begins with the curious case of the sinner. Much like the “good” thief on the cross, each of us once reveled in the momentary pleasures of sin. Most of us were rather ashamed of our conduct, yet there we were, hung next to Jesus, knowing we were guilty. It was due to the counterfeit dependence on sin that the King came down to hang on a cross so that His Father’s narrative for humanity might not be revised by one iota.
Despite our guilt, Jesus looked over to us and declared, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” Every believer’s testimony finds its genesis in this exchange. The broken and bloodless body which was supposed to be ours was loaded on our Savior’s shoulders, and those shoulders ensured the renewal of brittle hearts, the restoration of damaged bodies, and the salvation of sinful spirits.
Even better, Christ’s resurrection presents itself as a patently ironic missing person’s case: the body was never found, and although the records reveal where He resides, some choose to distrust the eyewitness testimonies of those who believed He was dead as well—the same witnesses whose bolted doors were passed through and doubting eyes were shocked to see their living Master, Jesus Christ.
Without the resurrection, the blood doesn’t cleanse and death’s barriers are not destroyed. This is precisely why the culmination of our faith does not rest in mere symbols. Quite the contrary, God never intended us to stop at venerating symbols. Instead, the cross and empty grave are reminders meant to stoke the gratitude that comes with being ransomed and handed eternal life.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.” -1 Corinthians 15:55-58
Getting out of dead waters requires us to get caught up in the riptide of Christ’s resurrection, for I never knew a veteran Christian who was bored after contemplating the sins which put Christ up on the cross. No man has of yet drained the well of God’s presence, and I don’t expect this particular achievement to ever be crossed off.
One can never get enough of Jesus, and with every year I grow older, I become more aware that sin still resides in my heart. Christ’s resurrection obligates me to put sin on the chopping block, and that’s cause for celebration! My sin no longer holds me captive to hell, and With a conquered grave comes a conquering covenant which pillages every piercing thorn of Satan.
A story like this is not unique to me, for the joy of Christ’s resurrection comes with no expiration date to all who believe. Sin’s stain has been scrubbed away by the King’s blood, so on this Easter, permit Jesus to forgive your sin, forgo its penalty, and forge a godly identity you. Surely we will praise Him for such a deed in heaven! With such an assurance of eternal life, let us put a down payment on praise this Sunday, for the same body exchanged for Barabbas was never recovered by the Sanhedrin. It is due to this fact that I raise my voice for evangelism. To Jesus Christ be the honor and glory forever.
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. The great pursuit of his life is to live by the words he writes—which is currently an ongoing project. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.