We have just come to the end of our Easter holiday. Easter is arguably the most important celebration in the Christian calendar and this term we are going to be looking at why it is so important and what the cross and, more importantly, the resurrection mean for us, today in the 21st century.
The first thought for the term, and the first thing that the cross means for us is New Life. It seems quite bizarre that someone’s death can actually mean new life for us. What does it mean by new life? Does it mean that we forget everything that we have done? No. But it does mean that we can start afresh.
In the Old Testament there is a lot of talk about animal sacrifices that need to be made, as a gift to God, but as Watchman Nee says ‘Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with resurrection’. That life of sacrifice is no longer necessary because Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross in our place, so that we can have a new life not worrying about our past, just starting afresh.
That’s not to say that we’re not going to make mistakes anymore, after all we’re human and that is what we do, but we can move on from those mistakes. There’s no point being held back by them, yes we can move on and learn from them, but the whole point of the cross is that we can move on. In Paul’s letter to the Romans he says “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
It is very easy for us to focus on all the things that we want to move on from, possibly so we don’t make the same mistakes again, but instead we should focus on the resurrection life we have, the new life we have in Jesus.
Prayer: thank you father that you sent your son that we may have new life because of the sacrifice made on the cross for us. Help us to live that life to the full.
Challenge: think about things from the old history that are still holding you back from your new life. Make a note of those things and take them to something that represents the cross for you.