Pause

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who was imprisoned for fighting against the Nazi regime, wrote in a letter from prison:

It is “through the resurrection of Christ that a new and purifying wind can blow through our present world ...

If a few people really believed that and acted on it in their daily lives, a great deal would be changed. To live in the light of the resurrection — that is what Easter means.”

That wind of resurrection is blowing through our world — can you feel it?

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Listen

And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. Every person who practices sin commits an act of rebellion, and sin is rebellion. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and there is no sin in him. Every person who remains in relationship to him does not sin. Any person who sins has not seen him or known him.

Little children, make sure no one deceives you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, in the same way that Jesus is righteous.

1 John 3:3-7

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Think

1 John tells us that Christ was born, died, and resurrected to take away sin; there is no sin in Christ, and whoever sins is engaged in an act of rebellion — effectively an act of rebellion against Christ’s resurrection, which is supposed to mark the end of sin.

Experts on change, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, write in their book, Immunity to Change, about why we have such a hard time ending our destructive behaviors — on one level we do want to live in a healthier way, but on another level we are comfortable with our current lifestyle. If our destructive lifestyle was really so unpleasant to us, we already would have started living differently!

In Christian terms, we could say that there is a part of us that resists entering the new life that comes from witnessing Christ’s resurrection. We must carry within us the hope that 1 John speaks of, so that each day is a process of purifying ourselves as Christ is pure. When we remember the resurrection of Christ, we are motivated to leave our sin.

Andrew Garnett

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Pray

God, part of me longs for your new life; part of me wants to live in rebellion. Place in my mind constantly the memory of Christ’s resurrection, so that I might be drawn to the resurrected life you have for me. Amen.

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Go

As one who has been raised with Christ, go today to witness the resurrection of your own life.

Andrew Garnett

Andrew Garnett is the Minister for Serving Christ at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, hiking, visiting historical sites, and playing board games — and the more complicated the board game, the better!

Reflections on the Way: I Will Arise and Go to Jesus - Break Thou the Bread of Life

Ken Medema

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