But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
The new year is a time when many of us resolve to start living differently. We seek to break old habits, build new relationships, change our outlook on life.
The gospel reveals that a truly new thing we experience in Christ is new life. The earliest Christians proclaimed this message again and again: "Christ is risen from the dead!" And because he conquered death and rose to new life, we can have new life in him. All who believe in Christ receive the promise of eternal life, and our new life begins right away, by the power of Christ's Spirit living in us.
When we have faith in Jesus, our life here takes on a new character. We realize that what we do here in this life matters—and that the Spirit of Christ guides us to live God's way. Christ takes our faltering efforts and uses them to accomplish good, now and for eternity.
We hope in Christ not simply to have a better way to live now. Because Jesus is alive, we know that he has the power to fix us too: our sins, our failings, even our physical bodies. Though our bodies may die, we know that our souls go to live with him until the day when he will raise our bodies from the grave, just as he was raised. Repentance and faith bring something truly new: resurrection and new life through Jesus Christ!
Thank you, God! You have given us the victory through Jesus Christ so that death no longer has power over us. Show us the strength to live through you today, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!