Dena Johnson MartinDena Johnson is a former single mom to three amazing kids: Blake, Cole, and Cassie and wife to her high school friend, Roy. She strives to follow Christ each day and to lead her children to do the same. She delights in taking the every day experiences of life and turning them into biblical lessons for her children. Dena's daily prayer is simple: Lord, my life is yours. Live through me. Love through me. Parent through me. Let me decrease that you might increase. Dena is the founder of Dena Johnson Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find beauty through the brokenness of this life. Her heart's desire is to use her own pain to point others to the power of God who redeems every hurt, every pain. You can contact Dena at Dena@denajohnson.com. You can also find her blog at Dena Johnson Ministries.
- 2017 Apr 13
“Resurrection is the central tenet of the Christian faith. And it isn’t something we just celebrate on Easter. Resurrection is something we celebrate every day in every way. Prayer has the power to resurrect dead dreams and give them new life—eternal life.” Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker, 41)
Have you ever really thought about the resurrection?
Here we are, Holy Week 2017. Walking through the days leading up to Good Friday and Resurrection Day. Reflecting once again on the sacrifice Jesus made for us, for our sins. Remembering how He took our sins on Himself, on that cross, so that we could have forgiveness and live with Him in glory.
And Sunday, we will join together in a chorus of, “Hallelujah! He is risen!” We will celebrate the stone being rolled away from the tomb, the resurrection of our Savior! We will remember His victory over death, a victory only the Promised Messiah could accomplish through the power of the Omnipotent God of the Universe.
Every year, Christians come together around the world and celebrate!
But what does the resurrection mean personally? How does it impact our daily lives? What difference does it make on how we live, on how we approach everyday life?
Yes, we all know the resurrection means we have the right to eternal life. It means forgiveness. It means Jesus is the Messiah. But how do we live in light of the resurrection?
I recently asked this very question, and here are some of the answers:
“We must embrace the fact that death must first occur before resurrection can occur. We often try to sidestep necessary pain and by doing so we miss the power of resurrection after death.”
How insightful! Without the death of Jesus Christ, we never would have seen the power of God to raise the dead back to life! But how often we forget that in our daily lives. When we experience tremendous loss, we focus on the loss and fail to see how it might be more of a set up for God to show His mighty power.
Just as Christ’s death on the cross was not final, neither is any loss we suffer in this life. It is only a place to pause, collect our thoughts, and turn our faith to the One who has power to resurrect from the dead.
“He gives me a second chance to be, to live, to seek. He fills me up with new life and dreams while rearranging the old dreams and life I had.”
Along the same line of thinking, resurrection means we have the opportunity to start over. Just as His death was the conduit of forgiveness of sins, it is also a conduit of newness, of fresh starts. Because of the resurrection, we can look at each day with fresh eyes, knowing there’s always more to the story. We have a second chance.
“The miracle-working power which raised Jesus from the grave is alive and working in me, both as an internal, transforming power and in this world, healing and raising others.”
As Ephesians 3:20 says, the power that is able to do far more than we could ever ask, think, or imagine, that mind-boggling, death-defying power is at work in you and in me! It’s available to us for the asking! It’s not a power that was only for Bible days, only for those who have the most extraordinary faith. It is ours!
Think about what that means: with Him at work in us, nothing is impossible. Absolutely nothing.
“A new life with the only person who will love unconditionally and for all eternity.”
Unconditional, unending love. What a beautiful portrait of who God is, of how He loves us. We are His, forever and always, and nothing—absolutely nothing—can separate us.
“Death has been conquered and I have been given the opportunity by choosing Him to experience eternal life with Him! And, while here on earth, I can live in victory and joy instead of fear and anxiety. Wouldn’t trade that peace of mind and heart for anything.”
There is no reason to fear death. There is hope for tomorrow. There is a promise of eternal life to those who love Him, who choose Him. We will be with Him one day in eternity. But, until that day, we are free to live on this earth with joy and peace that only comes from Him.
Isaiah 26:3 has become a favorite of mine. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! When we keep our thoughts fixed on Him, His all-surpassing peace that flows from the cross straight to us keeps us safe and sound.
“Regardless of the situation, God is in control. No matter how bad it looks, He has it handled. I just need to remember that during the anxious moments.”
“No matter what I am facing, there’s always hope. God can bring new life out of even the most hopeless situations.”
Yes! There is always hope! There’s never a reason to worry and fret because we can be assured that nothing takes Him by surprise. Even when it seems the world around us is spinning out of control, when we can’t catch a breath, there’s peace in knowing not even death can keep our Savior down.
He. Is. In. Control.
“Ultimate victory over death, evil, sin, the enemy…everything. Surpassing victory planned just for us to walk in. We are victorious because of Jesus.”
Ultimate victory. Nothing can stop us. We have won the victory in a war waging in the heavenlies. But we have nothing to fear because the victory is secured.
“It’s all true! He IS who He says He is, and that heaven is our home with Him. Right now is just the long way home.”
“His victory over death is the evidence that Jesus has the ability to grant us eternal life. Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.”
“It means His Word is true! It means He’s alive and intercedes for me.”
Yes! The resurrection is what sets Christianity apart from the rest of the world religions. What other religion can point to a dead person coming back to life? What other religion claims that kind of power?
The resurrection truly is the central tenet of our faith. It is the entire crux. Without it, Christianity falls apart.
“Everything changed! ABSOLUTELY everything!”
No greater summation. The resurrection changed everything.
Lord Jesus, as we celebrate your death and resurrection this weekend, I pray you would help us to remember that it’s not just something that happened in the past. Make us mindful that it changes everything—everything about our lives. Keep the resurrection at the forefront of our minds every single day that we might live our ordinary lives in light of what it means to us. Help us to remember it changes everything, even in our daily lives.