I imagine that you may be surprised by the headline, but
consider now the destructive power and be blessed and
Welcome to April’s Word for the Month, and a special welcome to anyone joining us for the first time. May God bless you richly as you read on. At the end there is a prayer, and a blessing.
Here are 6 things that were destroyed by the resurrection’s power.
Do you find yourself thinking that life is futile? Plenty of people would describe their lives just like that. Yet the resurrected Jesus provides the cure for futility. Adam was the first man; Jesus is the new man, the second Adam, who can change us and enable us to live a new life. Writing in Ephesians 4:17ff about futility, known so well by the Gentiles who did not know God, Paul offers the alternative. Put off the old man, he says, and put on the new, being renewed in the spirit of your mind.
The fruit is a new life and a new way of life, all made possible through the resurrection of Jesus. He destroyed the power of futility, releasing us from its grip and giving us a world of opportunity. And a future!
2. Believing yourself to be unloved.
There can be all manner of reasons why you might feel unloved. Poor parenting, a disruptive home life, difficult circumstances of life.
Perhaps you have suffered the pain of betrayal. Jesus did. Judas wasn’t just a hanger-on; he was one of the twelve. Experiencing betrayal was part and parcel of the cross and resurrection story. How else could He enter into our suffering except by going through it Himself.
Where do we look to find true love? In 1 John 3:16 the apostle writes: ‘By this we know love, that He (Jesus) laid down His life for us”.
Enduring the shame of the cross, Jesus was raised on the third day, all for love of you and me. He destroyed the power of hatred for all who trust in Him, releasing us from its grip and giving us a demonstration of love beyond our wildest dreams. An eternal love!
3. Feeling Hopeless
We need hope. Life without hope is a killer. Hope is so powerful in human experience that the writer of proverbs can state unequivocally that hope deferred makes the heart sick, Proverbs 13:12, while a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
The deepest longing for hope is regarding our eternal destiny. What grounds do we have to be confident of a good outcome.
We are reminded in Ephesians 2:12ff that we naturally have, naturally speaking, been strangers to the Old Testament promises, having no hope and without God in the world.
How hopeless is that? But now in Christ, we have been brought near by the blood of Christ, into a new and living hope. By the power of the resurrection the power of hopelessness has been shattered. We have become the people of hope. This hope lasts and will not disappoint us.
4. The fear of death
The fear of death is a present reality for many. Hopelessness and futility are found lurking in its folds. No-one looks forward to the process of dying, but what of death itself? As the philosophers would say, ‘eat, drink, for tomorrow we die’. Yes, that’s revealing hopelessness and futility in their full colours for all to see.
Here’s the good news. The central story of Easter Sunday is the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ. In rising from the dead, Jesus “destroyed the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and delivered all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery”. Hebrews 2:14-15.
The sting of death is sin. What if there is judgement, and accountability? What if we are headed for hell? Because of the resurrection Paul can now write with confidence, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55
For those who are surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus, trusting in His blood alone for salvation, there is nothing but good news. We shall see Him face to face.
5. Feeling worthless
Every single human being needs to know they are valued by someone else. That is why social media often exerts tremendous power. You might be an influencer, with enormous responsibility (often abused) or you might be destroyed by the power of words and images.
You are known by God himself and are valued highly. Paul again: “you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty became rich”. 2 Corinthians 8:9
When did Jesus become poor? When He left His heavenly home and came to earth; when He had nowhere to lay His head; when He hung naked on the cross; when He was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
This is part of the divine exchange.
- Jesus was broken that we might be healed.
- Jesus became poor that we might be made rich – in mercy, grace and love.
- Jesus died that sin and curses might determine our future destiny no more.
- Jesus felt cut off from God that we might be reconciled to Him.
- Jesus was raised that we too might be raised to newness of life.
6. Separation from others
One of the penalties of sin, selfishness and self-righteousness is the rancour that exists between different opinions, emphasis, colour, backgrounds etc. The power of the resurrection destroys the power of division between people and factions. Ephesians 2:14 “He Himself is our peace, .. who has broken down a wall of hostility”.
Through His death, the curtain of the temple was torn in half so that everyone might freely enter the holy of holies. No more ‘us and them’.
Where division has created broken relationships and divided people into groups, the only hope is in the power of the resurrection. Sadly, divisons and groups have often appeared within the Church. Friends, this is an offence to the gospel. We may disagree; we might disagree strongly. But those who are trusting in the saving power of the Lord Jesus are our brothers and sisters and we must love each other in spite of our differences. This is the power of the resurrection made visible today.
- Through the power of God which He exterted when He raised Jesus from the dead, Satan’s power is defeated
- The fear of death is annulled
- Futility is finished
- Overwhelming love replaces absence of love
- Hopelessness is replaced by a new hope that does not disappoint
- Worthlessness has become worthless – the value given to us, openly displayed, is staggering
- Separation is replaced with equality
Hallelujah! Christ is risen!
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! You are made free!
Lord Jesus Christ,
Thank you for loving me so much that you would lay down your life for me, carrying my sins upon the cross and paying the penalty on my behalf.
Heavenly Father, thank you for raising Jesus to life and for destroying the works of the evil one. Thank you for setting me free from the penalty of sin and death.
Holy Spirit, please help me to walk in the full liberty and joy of the resurrection.
I bless you in Jesus’ name that every freedom that Jesus won for you might be your experience. Wherever the enemy or the world or your own desires have led you back into areas of captivity, I bless you in Jesus’ name – that he might lead you back into full freedom.