"Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38-39 ESV) Those are some wonderful words to start this week (I know it is Tuesday but school is back in session today and it seems like the start of the week).
The question is asked, "What difference does Easter make?" Right here, in these words, you see the difference. Everything that holds you in bondage - the fear, the sorrow, the temptation, the pain, the suffering, you name it - that thing, that feeling, that action that holds you in bondage, you are given freedom through this one Man who rose from the dead on the 3rd day. It is through His life that you are given life. It is through the freedom He had as He broke the bonds of the grave that you are given freedom. It is through faith in Him, in the risen and living Jesus Christ alone, that you are given this freedom.
The people in Pisidian Antioch heard this message and rejoiced. They couldn't get enough of it. They were in bondage under the law, trying to free themselves only to find that they were mired deeper and deeper in their sinful actions. Paul came and proclaimed this message of freedom. They rejoiced and wanted to hear more.
What mires you? What holds you down? What keeps you from the true free life that Christ is bringing to you today? Ask yourself, "Is that bigger and stronger than Jesus?" He beat the grave! He rose when all of us will stay put (until the Last Day). He is the One who gives true freedom. Why do you doubt? Are you like Thomas? You just can't get your mind around it because it seems so "out there"? Stop doubting and believe. "I can't. It just seems...too good to be true, too impossible, too something." Why? Is it because you think God is too small and too unable to do such a powerful thing? Stop doubting and believe. I just...just what? Why do you refuse to believe? Answer that question and then come back and we will talk some more.
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!