April 16, 2022
Easter isn't what it used to be. Today, it is mostly about Easter bunnies, colored eggs, candy, and mall sales—if it's acknowledged or celebrated at all. I was in England a few years ago over Easter and I can remember thinking that if it wasn't for the hotels advertising Easter Sunday dinner, I would never have known that Easter was approaching. When I was a child, businesses closed down between noon and 3 p.m. on Good Friday and no business ever opened on Easter Sunday. There was never any school on Good Friday or Easter Monday.
This Memo is about the good old days, but not those days 65 years ago when I was young. The good old days I want to remember are the days 2,000 years ago when Jesus came back to life, after having been dead for three days.
Easter is still one of the best-attended church days of the year when many attend worship services, some for the only time of the year, to commemorate Jesus' resurrection. Think of it: All those people come back to commemorate that the Spirit brought a dead man back to life. They believe it actually happened and bear witness to it by their presence. If you're among them and believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, then you should be able to believe God for anything.
If God raises the dead, which He does, then He can cure cancer. He can provide for your business or ministry. He can transform you into the person He intended you to be, that person you want to be. If God can take a dead body and give it life, then nothing is beyond His miracle-working power. What's more, you have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living in you if you have put your faith in Christ. It's not a replica of that Spirit, it's not a portion of that Spirit. You have the Spirit that raises the dead living in you. Here's what Paul had to say about the implications of your Spirit-resident:
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:9-11).
THE SPIRIT LIVES IN YOU
The Spirit lives in you, and He didn't run out of power when He brought Jesus back to life. He isn't "out there" somewhere doing good work with the same power that raises dead people. He's in you. He's present to give you the mind of Christ so you can think the very thoughts of God. He's in you so you can transmit His presence to others who have no such Spirit resident; when they have an encounter with you, they're actually having one with Him. You're His hands, His feet, His ambassador, His emissary. Jesus put it this way:
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).
People often talk about coming into God's presence, but God's presence is always with you, whether you feel it or are aware of it. What difference should that make when you pray, work, and serve? It should make a big difference. Is it? Is Easter power present in your life and purpose work all year long? Are the rivers of living water from the Spirit's presence flowing from you? If not, then think about Romans 8:9-11 and John 7:37-39 and ask God to show you how you can allow this life-giving Spirit more room in your life to work and flow in the coming days and weeks. As you're doing that, I hope you find the time to have a blessed Resurrection Day.