Four Things to Do Because Jesus Is Alive
Many Christians spend the weeks leading up to Easter in some sort of preparation. It’s especially common to give up something we’d ordinarily enjoy, as an aid to focusing on God. This time of year, that sort of contemplation tends to center on the Cross and empty tomb.
Whatever way we do it, focusing our attention on Jesus’ resurrection is bound to be helpful. Again and again the New Testament tells what blessings we have because our Savior is alive. And a handful of passages get even more direct. They tell us ways our daily behavior must change because of the Resurrection.
Here are four of them—four things the Bible says we should do because Jesus is alive:
Resist sin. Romans 6 tells us that because Jesus died and came back to life, we who belong to him also died to our old lives. We have new life, with new power to say “no” to old, sinful ways: “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. . . . Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life” (Rom 6:12-13).
Jesus is alive and new, and so are we. It is not only wrong to engage in sinful behavior. It’s also incorrect to think we’re helpless to stop it. We have resurrection power. We must live in daily victory over sin.
Desire eternal things. Like Romans, the book of Colossians also says we died and came alive with Christ. As we resist sin, we should replace it with better desires: “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and you real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:1-3).
When we know that Jesus lives forever, and so will we, the earthly things that don’t last become less important to us. In particular, we care about people. They are eternal, while physical treasures are not. Colossians goes on to tell us to value such things as mercy, kindness, patience, forgiveness, and love for each other.
Hang tough despite suffering. The book of 1 Peter opens with praise for Jesus’ resurrection and the coming resurrection of our own bodies that this assures. Then it says what this means when life gets hard: “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while” (1 Pet 1:6).
If we had no hope of resurrection, we’d have no reason to find any meaning in suffering. But because we know we will live forever with Jesus, we also know our suffering will not only end one day but will also serve to perfect us for eternal life. So we carry on. We have courage.
Serve God with confidence. The Bible’s longest passage on the benefits of the Resurrection is 1 Corinthians 15. In ends with this encouragement: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Cor 15:58).
Do we want meaning in our lives? Anything and everything we do for Jesus’ kingdom has lasting significance, because the kingdom will last forever, and so will we. The Resurrection is the ultimate motivator. It makes us eager to work hard for Jesus.
There’s the list. Let’s look back over it: Resist sin. Desire eternal things. Hang tough despite suffering. Serve God with confidence.
That’s a full Christian life. A good life. And it doesn’t come by the methods we sometimes think make a good Christian life—determination or conjured-up devotion or finding the perfect church experience. Rather, it simply flows from having a deep confidence in the truth that, indeed, Jesus is alive.
Easter is approaching. Our traditions make it an occasion to contemplate the resurrection of our Savior. That’s a good idea.
Jack Klumpenhower is a writer and children’s ministry worker living in Colorado.