Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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The Hope of the Resurrection
Finished! The Message of Easter
Terry R. Baughman
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5 NIV).
The greatest hope we have been given is to live as Christ lives. The story of Easter and the reality of His resurrection from the dead assures us that we can share in His victory over death. After all, it was Jesus himself who declared, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). His plan of redemption from the foundation of the world was to bring deliverance from sin, new life with Christ, and eternal hope beyond the grave.
Jesus brought light into a dark world and He promised everlasting life to those who embraced His plan and received His free gift of grace. John wrote, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4–5). From the darkness of a tomb the light shines forth in glorious illumination highlighting the access to everlasting life.
Paul wrote of the promise of resurrection, “For if we died with Him,We shall also live with Him” (2 Timothy 2:11). There is a direct correlation between death and life. We are promised life, but there must first be a surrender to sacrifice. We were born into a world under the penalty of sin and the condemnation of death. So Jesus took the curse and turned it around to bring a blessing. He took the penalty and prepared a reward. Again, Paul declared, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54–57 KJV).
What the enemy meant for evil, God turned around for good. Satan’s plan to destroy Jesus became the ultimate destruction for the kingdom of darkness. Death was defeated by the resurrection of one righteous man, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22 NIV). In one act Jesus Christ put to death the ambitions of darkness and the agenda of the enemy. The final statement of the cross continues to reverberate throughout the centuries, “It is finished!” This is our day for victory, our moment for deliverance, and an eternity of hope. It is all wrapped up in the resurrection!
Paul reminded believers that, “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9–10). For those who have experienced New Birth salvation, those living or those who have died, we know that we shall live together in Jesus Christ. Paul said, “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3–4).
Arise, let us live a new life in hope … because of His powerful resurrection!
“… although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:3).