“In spite of what the world has done to Easter,” Stan began, “it’s still all about the resurrection of Jesus on the third day.”
“Yes,” I replied, “the world denies or doesn’t know the significance of Easter, but I do. Because of the resurrection of Christ Jesus, I have a new life in and through Him.”
“You’re right, my friend,” Stan said. “Because Jesus was resurrected, everything changed for the good. However, I saw in the first letter that the apostle Peter wrote, a warning about a different kind of resurrection.”
“Different kind of resurrection?” I replied. “What do you mean?”
“While Peter doesn’t use the word,” Stan said, “I think Peter is clearly telling his readers, including me, to be very careful not to resurrect what was in my past. Peter wrote it in terms of not being ‘conformed’ to the things of the past that separated me from God.”
Continuing, he said, “For example, take the whole notion of self. It is self that leads me to want to pursue things that separate me from God. That is why Jesus said that denying self is so important as the first step in being a disciple.”
“Denying self is like putting it to death,” he added. “It is to stay dead, not be resurrected.”
“I can see that,” I replied. “Jesus was resurrected on the third day. That was a very good thing. If I am constantly resurrecting the things of my past that keep me from drawing ever closer to God, that is not a good thing.”
“Amen, my friend,” Stan responded. “I am to focus on the resurrection of Jesus, while continually giving to the indwelling Holy Spirit my death of self.”
“If I do that,” he concluded, and if I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will keep the old me from being continually resurrected!”
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all of your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14 – 16.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the resurrection of Jesus on the third day. Thank you for the new life you have granted me because of the empty grave. I ask you to move in the world so that it will see, accept, and embrace the truth of His resurrection. There is a different kind of resurrection that you do not want to be a part of my life, the resurrection of the things in the past that kept me separated from you. Thank you for wanting to keep me from being conformed to that past. I confess that too often I do resurrect those things that separate us. Please, Father, forgive me. And please help me in following every step of your lead in keeping dead all that you want to keep dead. Help me to focus on the new life you have given me because of the resurrection of Jesus. And keep me from resurrecting the old stuff that will keep me from you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.