Twenty-two years ago, on March 6, 1995, I lost my precious 13-year-old daughter, April, during a surgical procedure expected to improve her quality of life. Initially, her premature death devastated me. After her death, I wrote out God’s promise of 1 Thessalonians 4:14: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.”
I taped the verse to my refrigerator door surrounded by her pictures. From that point on, I have clung to the hope of the resurrection. Since she had been held captive in a crippled body throughout her short life, I drew great comfort from knowing she would be resurrected to new life with a healthy body. Many times since her death, I have encouraged others who have lost loved ones with the same hope.
Recently, as I prepared a lesson to teach our church youth, I realized the hope of the resurrection that equips us to face death is also the hope that equips us to face life. Those of us who are in Christ are freed — no longer a slave to the fear of death nor under condemnation for our sins. God doesn’t excuse our sins, but the resurrection proves Christ’s sacrifice for our sins was acceptable in God’s sight.
According to today’s verse, the new life we have in Christ has “now” set us free. That’s not our future hope, that is our current reality. Embrace it.
Father, enable us from this day forward to live in freedom from condemnation and the fear of death that is ours because of the resurrection. Amen.
Go Deeper — Find out why the “therefore” that begins Romans Chapter 8 is there by reading Chapter 7, which contains a fuller explanation of the freedom that is ours in Christ.
Photo Credit: Vladimir Vujeva