What is Easter all about? Some people think it’s about bunnies and decorated eggs. As much as things change, the meaning of Easter never changes. Easter is all about one thing: God loves you and me so much, that God gave His One and Only Son, Jesus, who died on the cross and then, on that first Easter Resurrection Sunday morning, He came back to life! And because Jesus defeated death, you and I can also live forever.
A lot of people know that Easter is about Jesus dying and coming back to life, but they don’t know that Jesus went through everything he went through so you could have life too. 2 Corinthians 5:15 in the Message paraphrase says, “(Jesus) included everyone in His death so everyone could be included in His life, A FAR BETTER LIFE than people ever lived on their own.”
There are a lot of things that are empty today: Maybe it’s your pantry, your bank account, the parks are empty, and even restaurants are empty. On that first Easter, the tomb was Empty! And that was a good thing.
What if there was something more? We settle for less because we don’t know that there’s something better. God made you to experience a fuller, better life!
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
Jesus wants to give you the gift of a satisfying, rich, full, joyful, abundant, overflowing life. And the only place you can find that kind of life is in Jesus.
So, what does the life that Jesus wants to give you look like? There are four benefits of the life that Jesus gives you.
A Life of Love.
Love is not just a nice idea or concept. It’s a person. Love has a name. And His name is Jesus!!!
Jesus lived a life of perfect love. And here’s what he said in John 15:13, There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
And then, that’s exactly what Jesus did. He said it, then he showed it. On Easter, Jesus rose from the grave and along with Him, love is alive! Because love is alive, I can live a life of love. When it comes down to it, life is all about love.
At The Connection Church, we’re all about the 2 greatest things in life. It’s one thing that’s directed in 2 directions. The one thing is love. And we love up, to God. And we love out, to people.
One day, a guy asked Jesus, “Of all the over 600 commands in the Bible, at least in the Old Testament, Which one is the most important of all? Just give me the bible in a tweet, 280 characters or less: Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39
What really matters is loving God with all you’ve got and loving people a lot!
At The Connection Church, we lean into our worship, where we focus our heart’s affection and our mind’s attention on God. We love each other well, we stay connected, we pray for each other, and do what we can to meet each other’s needs and take care of each other. And we love people who don’t know Jesus yet by serving them in practical ways, and by sharing with them the Good News of Jesus.
A Life of Impact.
We all want our lives to count. We all want to make a difference with our lives.
Maybe you would say, “I want to make a difference with my life, but honestly, I’ve never felt good enough; I really don’t feel like I’m a big difference-maker.” That’s the way most of us feel, in fact, that’s the way I’ve felt for most of my life. But, what I’ve discovered is that God loves to work through people who realize they need God’s help.
God specializes in using ordinary people. And today, with the help of God, you can see yourself as a difference maker. To change the world you have to be equipped and empowered by God. You don’t have to be the best, or the most talented, or the smartest, you just have to care the most.
In Romans 8:28, it says, And we know that God causes everything to work together, (even what you are going through today,) for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
God has a purpose for your life.
A Life of Freedom.
You can live free even when you feel restricted. It’s called God’s gift of grace. Grace is when God gives you what you need, instead of what you deserve.
The problem with our sin is, the price is so high that we can’t pay for it by ourselves. Somebody else had to pay it. That person is Jesus. Jesus paid it all. Jesus purchased your freedom on the cross.
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36
Jesus paid the price for your sin so he could you to set you free. You might wonder, “What did Jesus set me free from?”
First, Jesus sets you free from guilt. Jesus sets you free from fear. Jesus sets you free from the hurts and bitterness and anger, He’ll help you let it go. He sets you free from trying to live up to the expectations of other people, from worry, and from trying to be good enough and trying to measure up. He sets you free to be who He made you to be.
The life Jesus gives you is free, but it’s not cheap. It cost Jesus his life. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:6 (NLT) “Jesus gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone.”
A Life of Expectation.
Are you living with Great Expectations? We live in a world that can be pretty dark and hopeless. Don’t you think that in the middle of that darkness, we need some light?
That’s one of the reasons God has put us here to be light to our dark world and bring the light of Jesus to people. To offer them hope. So, we recognize that there are a lot of problems and struggles, and they’re very real. But, the hope we are holding out isn’t just a daydream or a wish.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5
As a church, we are a bunch of hope dealers, dealing hope to a hopeless world. We’re left with one thing: the unchanging message that: People need Jesus. Jesus can change your life by forgiving you of your sin, giving you a purpose to live for, and changing your future and your forever.
How you can get this Better Life that Jesus offers?
If you’re saying, “I want that! How do I get this life of power and purpose and freedom?” You get it by trusting in Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:22 (MSG) says “Everybody comes alive in Christ.” Jesus is the only way to really live life to its fullest.
Are you experiencing a life that’s filled with God’s love, a life of impact, a life of freedom, and a life of expectation for the future? You can! Here’s what John said:
And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
It’s really that simple. Eternal life not just about living forever with Jesus in heaven. It’s about a new kind of life that you can start living here and now, today.