Ever wish you could start over? If there was a restart button available which we could press anytime we wanted to redo things, my guess is that we would have made much use of it by now. Sometimes our personal anxieties, painful memories, and despair of whether the future really will be better makes us wish that there was another life we could live, a life not subject to the pain and brokenness of this present world. This wish for a new life is echoed in a song by Fantine in Les Miserables after she lost her job and resorted to prostitution to pay off her debts:
I had a dream my life would be. So different from this hell I’m living. So different now from what it seemed. Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.
Can you relate in some way to Fantine?
We have our life. But can we have a new life? The message of Easter is, “Yes we can!”
The meaning of Easter is not an excuse to eat chocolate, have another national holiday, or simply go to a religious service. Rather, Easter is about how our brokenness can be healed, our despair replaced with hope, our anxieties replaced with peace, our bondages replaced with freedom, and our condemning wrongs replaced with forgiveness. It is about getting a new life! A new life is a fundamental change in our identity, destiny, desires, and behaviour. In our life now, we are used to finding our identity in someone or something that is promising (a career path, how much money we make, a relationship), but which can ultimately be taken away from us. The life we live now and the identities we hold to are breakable. We need a new life which is unbreakable.
How do we get a new life?
For this to take place, something drastic needs to happen. Someone more powerful than us needs to break into human history to save us from the symptoms of our brokenness (ie. despair, pain) and the root of our brokenness. Easter is to celebrate that this has happened! God himself has broken into human history as Jesus to redeem us from our brokenness by dealing with the root of our brokenness – our separation from him. We were originally created to enjoy abundant life in fellowship with God, to experience true love, joy, and freedom in relationship with him. However, we chose to place our identity in created things (ie. our personal goals, a career, a relationship) rather than in our Creator and now experience brokenness because of our broken fellowship with God.
Herein lies what Easter is about: God has come into human history to give us a restart button for our lives. When we trust in Jesus and his gift of new life he has purchased for us, he makes us new. He loves us with an everlasting love and provides for us an unbreakable identity in him, while healing our brokenness, giving us peace with God, and true freedom.
But in order for us to have this new life, it required death. At Spring this time of year, we are reminded that this new season which is upon us couldn’t have come without the old season (fall) dying for winter. The food we eat must first die before it can nourish our life. In the same way, for us to experience the brand new life Jesus has come to give us, he had to take on our death, the consequences we deserve for our own rejection of God in our lives, so we could have his life in us. We typically see death as the end of life, but Easter shows us that Jesus Christ turned death on its head – he died for us so that his death results in life for us.
Easter is about life. It is about dying to our old lives and living the vibrant new life Jesus offers us.
If you currently have this new life in Jesus but don’t feel his power in you, is there anything in your life which is distracting you from experiencing him?
If you do not have this new life in Jesus, have you considered that Jesus’ message is not about trying to be good but about you having new life? Would you like this new life?