What Easter means to me is freedom. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, His victory over sin and Satan, and His resurrection from the dead, I no longer have any debts: I am no longer a slave. This freedom has two parts to it.
Freedom – part 1
If I were to have unforgiven sin, then Satan would have a line on me, and I would belong to the kingdom of death. The wages of sin is death. That much is certain. (Romans 6:23)
But I don’t have unforgiven sin. When I repent and ask for forgiveness, then it is mine. I am free from the debt that I owe because of sin. Jesus has paid that debt on my behalf, with His life.
If Satan tries to say anything at all – “Well, she did do this and this, so she really belongs to me; I should have the deciding say in her fate” – then Jesus comes back with “Yes, maybe she did do that, but I bought that debt, and I paid for it with My life, so now it is Mine to forgive, and I do so willingly.”
I, who deserve to die because I have sinned, am completely forgiven, and now belong to the kingdom of heaven instead of the kingdom of death. That is more grace than I deserve, but it has nothing to do with what I deserve and everything to do with Jesus’ love and grace for me personally.
Freedom – part 2
The second part of this freedom is just as great as the first. This is freedom from having to sin in the first place. Jesus was a human, just like I am, and He lived a life of overcoming every time He was tempted to sin. And because He opened up that way of overcoming, which was not possible before He showed us the way, He made it possible for me to do the same. This means that instead of being in bondage to sin – having no power to resist it when I’m tempted – now I have freedom from having to give in to the lusts and desires of my flesh and from having to do whatever comes up from there.
Freedom to overcome pride and arrogance, and instead be humble and meek of heart.
Freedom to overcome irritation and frustration, and rather react with patience and kindness.
Freedom to overcome despair and discouragement, and instead be filled with hope and faith for the future.
Freedom not to get offended or bitter or envious of people, but rather to be thankful, loving, joyful.
Freedom to be happy, to have joy, to get all of the virtues of Christ as part of my very nature. Nothing could be more desirable than that.
All of these things I can do through the power and grace that became available to me when Jesus sacrificed Himself, died for me, and rose again, because He owed death nothing and it couldn’t hold Him.
This freedom is incomparable. I know just what I’d be if I didn’t have the comfort of knowing that one day all of these things that I am tempted to will be completely overcome in my life. I would be a hopeless wretch, who would spend my days in despair and bondage to the sin which leads to misery and death. Knowing that I don’t have to remain as I am – a person with a human nature with a tendency to sin – but can become someone completely new is the greatest comfort and freedom and hope that I could possibly imagine. I can be purified and conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29) This is the greatest comfort I know. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
I praise Jesus for what He’s done for me personally. He’s offered me a way out of sin and death. This makes life meaningful, rich, and worth living.