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Easter Changes Everything

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Have you ever had something lifechanging happen? Like you used to do things one way and then something happened and your life would never be the same, because it just totally changed the way you live? Like, when I was in high school, I remember when the OG iPhone came out, like the first one. And it totally changed the way people lived. I used to print out paper directions from mapquest to get places. But now, I just plug it into my phone. And honestly, it’s funny when you talk to older people and they try to give you directions to places. They’re like go to this street and make a turn here, and I just straight up don’t listen. Because I’m just going to plug it into my phone anyway.
Or, like, when I was in college and I went to school in this really small town that literally only had a subway and a pizza place. And I went to visit my friend in Columbus, and he took me to a chicken place called Cane’s, and it changed my life forever. Now, I will not live anywhere that doesn’t have Cane’s.
We have these events, or moments in our lives, that change things. But there was an event in history that changed things, not just for one person, or a group of people, but the whole world. It was such a world-changing event that the entire calendar shifted, and we’re still talking about it today.

Why are we here? The Resurrection

What do we celebrate on Easter? The Resurrection of Jesus. As Christians, the main belief that we hold is that our King, Jesus died on Friday, taking on all the evil in your heart and mine, but Death couldn’t stop him, and he busted out of the grave on Sunday morning.
You know, death scares me. It scares a lot of us, I think. It’s the uncertainty of it. Like, what happens after death—is it just blackness forever? You know, we live this life and we’re with people that we love, and we get to do stuff that we love, and then one day, there’s a complete and total change. Is all that stuff gone forever? What if we mess up? Does anything matter?
There are a lot of reasons that I’m a Christian, but this one is at the top: Jesus defeated Death. He proved that death is not the end. He made a way for life—real life! And that should change EVERYTHING.
My mom got me this new devotional yesterday, and I this morning, it said, “The resurrection is not just the most important miracle ever. It’s that and much more. It’s also meant to be a window through which you view all of life.” Everything you see should be seen from the perspective of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus.
So, I want to read from , about how life has changed because of Christ’s resurrection.
Romans 8:9–25 NLT
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Romans 8:9-25

The Resurrection gives us Spiritual power

The whole chapter talks a lot about the Spirit of God. We’ve been talking about God on Sunday mornings, and a few weeks ago, we talked about the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is God himself, working in our lives. Verse 11 says the power of the Holy Spirit, which powered the resurrection, lives in us! Think about that.
You know, sometimes people say, “Oh you believe Jesus came back from the dead? That’s crazy.” To which I say, “Yeah, it is CRAZY!” But it happened. There’s really good reason to believe that it happened (if you want to know more, come talk to me.). What kind of power would you need to bring someone back from the dead? A crazy amount of power. The kind of power humans don’t have. Yet, what Paul tells us here is that we do have that power, when we become Christians, and God’s Spirit lives in us.
We have the Spirit to live a new kind of life, by the fruit of the Spirit: Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness and Self-Control. How different would the world look if those things characterized everyone?

The Resurrection saves us from sin

What this means, then, is that we have power over our sin. You know there’s this verse earlier in Romans that I majorly identify with:
Romans 7:18–19 NLT
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
Romans 7:15–20 NLT
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

Because I do this all the time! I know the right thing to do, but I don’t do it. I go to the store and I go: I can’t get ice cream I can’t get ice cream I can’t get ice cream. And what do I do? I walk out of there with two gallons of Blue Bell. Or I say I’m gonna work out I’m gonna work out I’m gonna work out. And what do I do? I hit snooze like 6 times in the morning. Just this week, on Friday, I was really hard on Kendrick. We’re really working on obedience, and I just got frustrated. And I don’t want to get frustrated, but sin just creeps in. We sin all the time.
But, because of the Spirit of God, the Spirit that conquered sin and death, we can also conquer our sin. You don’t have to give in to the same sins over and over again. You can act like a new person—a person reborn!

The Resurrection makes us God’s children

We have nothing to fear, the verse says—because if Jesus defeated death, what else is there to fear? Instead, it says that we get God’s own Spirit because he has adopted us as his children!
This Friday, we watched the Lego Batman movie, which was amazing, obviously. But in the movie, Batman is too cool for any relationships, until he kind of accidentally adopts a boy from an orphanage. But, at first, he won’t let him call him dad, or anything like dad, so he ends up calling him “Padre” because it means dad in Spanish, but it also can be like buddy. Because Batman doesn’t want to let anyone in. He doesn’t want to love anyone and is afraid they’ll hurt him. So, he keeps Robin at a distance by making him call him Padre.
But what Romans tells us about God is that, when Jesus we are adopted as his kids, and we can call him Abba, Father! We are totally a part of God’s family, and we have Dad’s ear. He’ll listen to us, because we’re his kids and he loves us SO MUCH!

The Resurrection gives us hope for the future

It says here that God is going to reveal glory to us in the future, and that all of creation—the stars and the mountains and the oceans and the animals are waiting for God to remake everything. And, we too, are groaning it says for future glory, for when our bodies are released from sin and suffering. Here’s the point: Jesus got a resurrected body, so you will too. Who’s ever broken a bone? Who’s been sick? Who’s ever burned their finger in the oven? When heaven comes to earth, that’s done with. We get to live a brand new life on a brand new earth, with brand new bodies, and this time, all of the sin and pain and suffering is gone.
This is where the whole story of the Bible has been pointing. Sin and Death enter the picture in Genesis three, on page two of your Bibles. And it has been wreaking havoc ever since. It caused Cain to kill Abel. It caused wars and death and injustice and loneliness and jealousy and bullying and everything that hurts us. And we are a part of it. We choose sin every single day!
But God chose a people, the Israelites, and he said I’m going to save the whole world through you. I’m going to destroy sin and its effects through a king who is coming, who will rule just like God does. And Jesus shows up. And he IS that king. But he doesn’t act like people thought he would. He’s always doing things in humility and sacrifice. And, then, he dies. He’s killed like a common criminal. All hope is lost. But we didn’t understand what Jesus was doing. He was giving up his own life in order to defeat the sin and violence of the world, and on Sunday morning, he rose from the dead, proving that THERE IS HOPE! A day is coming where all sin and death is gone forever!
So, our whole lives should be changed because of that. We should adjust everything we do to serve this king. We should live with the fruit of the Spirit; we should fight sin in our lives and the world around us; we should trust God as his children; and we should look forward to heaven and try to make the world around us look more like it every day.
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