Judges 9:22-57; Luke 24:1-12; Psalms 100:1-2; Proverbs 22:1
NT: “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. “He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” And they remembered his words.” (Luke 24:1-8 CSB)
Not only did Jesus die in our place to pay the penalty for sin that we could not pay, He also overcame the power of death and rose from the grave with new life. Many peoples faith, if they have faith in Jesus Christ, ends with the crucifixion. They believe that Jesus died for their sins and saved them, and that’s it. So they say a prayer at some point in their life to receive salvation, but then continue living the same life that they were living – only now they are “saved” and have a “fire insurance policy.” While, what Jesus accomplished on the cross is great… and it is good news – He did so much more! Because Jesus overcame the power of death and rose to new life, it means that we can live a new life as well. Placing faith fully on what Jesus accomplished is far more than an assurance of salvation, it is a guarantee that we don’t have to keep living the same sinful life and keep following the same sin patterns until we die. We can be born again into new life, just as Jesus rose from the dead to new life. That is actually what baptism symbolizes – that we, through faith in Christ, have died (with Christ) to our sinful selves and have been risen (in Christ) to new life in Him. A big part of being a disciple of Jesus (not just a Christian that believes in Jesus) is learning to walk in the new life that He has won for us.
Psalms: “Let the whole earth shout triumphantly to the Lord! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:1-2 CSB)
The psalmist calls the whole earth – all the inhabitants of the earth – to shout joyful shouts of victory to the Lord. If the psalmist thought it proper to do that at the psalm’s writing – how much more so is it appropriate today. Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has won a victory for all humanity. He defeated the hold of sin and He overcame the power of death and has made that victory available to us all. As Paul explained in Romans 12, the only reasonable response to what the Lord has done is to present our lives to Him and serve Him – which is worship. And because the Lord is good, loving, and ever gracious to those who serve Him, we don’t have to serve begrudgingly – but can serve joyfully in the new life that He has won for us.