April 08, 2012


Romans 6:1-7, 23

Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
—Romans 6:4


My wife and I traveled to Greece to retrace the footsteps of the apostle Paul. Near Philippi our guide pointed out a tumulus—a burial mound disguised to look like a hill. After years of effort the archaeologist Manolis Andronikos discovered the tumulus of Phillip II, ruler of Macedon in that region from 360-336 B.C. As he held the golden chest containing the bones of that famous king, he said, “I can hardly believe it!”

You could spend ten lifetimes trying to find Jesus’ bones, but you would never succeed. Jesus was crucified and buried, but he did not stay in the grave. He arose! By his resurrection he frees us from the guilt of sin and even from the power of death. Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

After months in a prison during World War II, Joe Moser recalled how a tank roared toward the main gate and tore through barbed wire on the day of his liberation. He writes, “There was a stunned moment … then a roar went up from the camp that rolled through the acres down the narrow muddy corridor.” Only those who have been set free can know that roar of relief, joy, and exhilaration.

On this Easter Day let the roar of freedom fill your heart and home and all the corridors of your community. Let it wash over the sin and brokenness of life with healing and restoration. Christ the Lord is risen!

Lord Jesus, may the joy we have received through your gift of free life be evident to all! Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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