Easter is about the resurrection. But the resurrection would have no value if there were no cross. As the apostle Paul reminds us, the cross in integral to the resurrection:
“…the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord… through faith in Christ… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil 3:8-11)
When we think of developing our LIFE cells, we should then consider both sides of the Easter message. We are told to serve others; not only go to receive edification and encouragement for ourselves. We should be required to go out into the community and “give a glass of water in His name,” bringing both natural and living water to others; even as our own thirst for God is being satisfied in our cells. We must focus on setting our minds on things alone; avoiding the ever-present temptation to chatter endlessly about earthly pleasures. We must be constantly on the alert to put to death “…immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire… anger, wrath, malice, slander…” (Col 3:5-8) in ourselves even as we look forward to getting together with people from whom, as children of God, we expect to experience compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience. We must expect to persevere under the trials of the cross, conforming to Christ’s suffering; even as we anticipate the blessings promised to those who have chosen Life. We have to be willing to wait for “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled… reserved in heaven for you…”, rejoicing in present trials, instead of expecting our LIFE cells to provide heaven-on-earth for us now.
Yes, the resurrection of Easter is a thing of victory, a promise of mercy, salvation, forgiveness, redemption, love, unity, peace and rejoicing. However, the resurrection came at great cost to our Saviour. He gave up His life on a cross of great pain. Let us, at this Easter time, decide in our own lives and in our LIFE cells, to conform to the image of Christ, both in the victory of the resurrection and the suffering of the cross.
Date: February 2006