The celebration of Easter is now past. We sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” enjoyed dinner with family and friends, and perhaps an egg hunt with the grandchildren, and now have shifted back into our normal routines in the midst of a world that doesn’t have a clue of the significance of the cross and the resurrection of Christ. But… Christ’s sacrifice has literally changed everything! It has changed our destiny and the very daily living of our lives. It enables us to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” – Romans 12:12. We are able to enjoy God’s presence in a way unheard of before the cross!
When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, relationship with God was broken. A chasm opened between us and God. Throughout the Old Testament, the only way a Holy God could engage with sinful mankind was through an individual’s recognition of personal sin, repentance and obedience to God, and atonement made for that sin through animal sacrifice. God’s presence was veiled behind the inner curtain of the temple, where only the high priest was permitted to go. But, because of Christ’s sacrifice – his willingly becoming the final sacrifice by laying down his own life in place of ours, we now have the ability to expectantly see God’s presence in our daily lives! We can communicate with him directly, and know he hears and answers our prayers. We are given a sense of boundless hope and anticipation for our future and an awareness that we are not walking through our daily lives alone!
Christ’s death and resurrection should impact how we think and act every day. Each day we have the opportunity to not only be aware of God’s presence and commune with him, but it’s an opportunity to allow Christ to impact us – making us more like him in our character and conversation, to become more compassionate and loving and make a difference in the world. And in that way, we participate in the joy of the cross… “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” – Hebrews 12:1-2. – Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist