Live, Love, and Laugh
It happened at a 2013 Easter service in a church in New Zealand. A girl in the second row sobbed in contrition as the pastor delivered the Easter message. Her heart was torn apart by every argument the pastor made regarding the manner and purpose of Christ's crucifixion. Seeing her past, her actions, her thoughts, and who she was for the first time, she saw her wretchedness and her unworthiness. Yet, Christ took it upon Himself to save her. That was the day she died to her old self and began to live under Jesus Christ's resurrection covering. That girl was me.
While the act of repentance was beautiful and significant, it also marked the beginning of a deliberate journey of dying to self. It did not come easy.
Slowly and over time, my priorities began to shift. What I once found delightful is no longer appealing to me. My soul (mind, will, emotions) was drawn to know more about my Saviour. I needed to let go of my former self - selfish ambitions, worldly friends, unholy interests, world-wise books, and music. It was not an overnight change. The process was slow, characterized by painstaking moments of failure and getting back up, but through the power of the resurrection, it succeeded. Transformation is still happening.
To live under the power of the resurrection:
Death and burial have to take place.
One lives by dying to self, while gaining Christ. (msg. Phi1. 1:21)
Love Sacrificial death was necessary for the power display of the resurrection to occur. Sacrificial death is an act of love. Forgiving a friend for an offense they committed was one of the first and hardest things I had to do. It was challenging to deliberately view the friend with "eyes of love and no condemnation," to forego the satisfaction of having my hurt and rage justified, and to move on without receiving an apology. To love when it hurts, to love when there is nothing to gain, to love without bounds, to love no matter the cost - impossible under man, but made possible under the power of the resurrection.
To love under the power of the resurrection:
Sacrifice is a requisite.
One loves because HE first loved us. (msg. 1 John 4:19
The resurrection demonstrated that Jesus was who He claimed to be, that salvation and heaven are real, and death has no sting for those who believe in Jesus Christ.
My life before I met Jesus was characterized by fear of the unknown, worry about both internal and external circumstances, timidity, and diffidence. Because of the reality of the resurrection, I am now able to be still, maintain my joy, and endure illness, setbacks, delays, discouragement, and the unknown. I can “laugh at days to come”.
To laugh under the power of the resurrection:
Know that death/unknown has no sting.
One laughs because if God is for us, who can be against us? (msg. Romans 8:31)
Easter 2013 marked a major turning point in my life when I realized the resurrection's power.
Today, I continue to live, love, and laugh under the confidence that the resurrection offers.
Praise be to Jesus.