A week and a half ago we celebrated Easter, that glorious day when Jesus, the crucified Messiah, rose victoriously from the dead, walked resolutely out of the grave, and forever broke the power of sin and death – for us.
Now the decorations are down, the candy has been eaten, and life has gone on. But when the angel said on that Resurrection Sunday two thousand years ago, “Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here; but is risen,” we received a glimpse of what God in Christ had planned from the foundation of the world – for us.
For many years, I saw myself as a woman marked by and for death. My father had taken his own life, and suicide hunted me and haunted me with hellish fury. The enemy’s hostile threats that I would drive everyone I loved away as my dad did, and then take my own life, beat at my heart’s door day and night, and I felt powerless against his blows. Sin engulfed my soul, and paved the way for the Accuser’s threats to become reality.
Until one day.
I stood in my kitchen and cried out to the only One who could deliver the death-blow to the powers of hell – for me. God in His love and mercy reached down and lifted the crushing weight of sin and shame and set me free. Oh, praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead!*
For many women, emotional and spiritual demise comes not from great sin and guilt, but from the diurnal grind. “Death by daily things can be painfully slow.”**
Pain, shame, depression, abuse, discouragement, anxiety, fear, anger, lies, oppression– all these and more are things of death, and can squeeze the life right out of a woman’s soul. But the promise of Easter is this: The Living One is not among the dead things, and He calls us out of death and darkness into life and light (1 Peter 2:9).
Are you crushed under the weight of sin and shame today? Do you feel the death by daily things coming slow but sure? Then there is Good News, Ladies. In those dark days between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, the demons were on edge. The hosts of heaven waited with bated breath. But early on Sunday morning, Jesus Christ the Messiah burst forth from the grave with a message – for you: “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Rev. 1:18).
Colossians 2:13-15 tells us, “When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Hallelujah! Ladies, we are called by the Living One to come out from among the dead things to live life fully and freely – for Him! Why seek you the living among the dead?
Come out and live!
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)”
The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will bring glorious resurrection to our dead or dying souls if we will receive it (Rom. 8:11). Sisters, we do not live among the dead things, for we are not there, we have risen with Christ! Look full in His wonderful face, dear ones, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.***
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Gal. 5:1). Receive the wholly liberating freedom from the hand of our glorious Redeemer, and live – for Him!