During our COVID-19 shutdown, Pastor Zekveld plans to provide a personal reflection each weekday.
Power to Change
Dr. David Wood recalls April, 1996:
I was sitting in a jail cell. I had lost 80 pounds from refusing to eat, and the prison doctor was threatening to begin tube feeding me. My lawyer said that the psychiatrist was going to have me sent to my third mental hospital. I was 20 years old. I had hurt everyone around me, my life was destroyed, and I just didn’t care. The only thing that kept me going at all was that there were more people I wanted to hurt. I viewed human beings as disgusting blobs of cells, cosmic accidents, delusional wastes of consciousness. The faster we were all wiped out – the better.
Then I got slapped in the face by the resurrection of Jesus.Dr. David Wood
Knowing the resurrection of Jesus Christ changed everything for David. His view of himself, other people and the world was radically transformed. He began to understand and feel his real purpose for living.
The resurrection of Jesus is still the most important event in history nearly 2,000 years after Easter.
We have reflected on Easter as God’s open door to hope. But let’s also think about Easter as God’s power to change us. Jesus’ resurrection means that our sins are paid in full. But, as David’s testimony confirms, Jesus’ resurrection also brings power to change.
We need outside power to change our lives. We do not have the moral or spiritual power to change ourselves. The Bible describes human nature accurately: We are dead in sin. (see Ephesians 2:1-5) We are against God, and in love with sin. We need no less than a spiritual resurrection. We need to be born again, Jesus said. (John 3:3)
Real change comes when the power of the risen Christ invades our internal graveyards. There’s hope for each one of us no matter how lost we are! That divine power that raised Jesus can also raise you up from your moral and spiritual death. And make you alive. Alive to God. Alive to good. Alive to kindness. Alive to your family. Alive to hope.
If you call on the name of Jesus who died and rose again, if you ask Him to save you from your sins and change you, He will raise you up. His power will invade you and make you a new person, with new desires and attitudes and behaviours.
This new life begins as a small seed and keeps growing and maturing for the rest of your life.
But it doesn’t grow by its own power. Everyday again, we need the power of Christ’s resurrection to keep on working in us so that we grow in grace.
Jesus said to His followers, I am the Vine; you are the branches…apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
So don’t let Easter fade from view. Easter is an open door to life. It’s power to change. We need Easter everyday. No, not Easter itself, but Jesus Himself, risen from the dead and now is seated on heaven’s throne, sharing His resurrection power with all His people. That power is for you. He shares it with you through His Holy Spirit.
As Christians, never a day goes by where we don’t need this power of Christ’s resurrection to work in us.
In our current global crisis and homebound living, we feel that! Pressures of work and marriage and children and schooling and finances can make us fearful and impatient. We become frustrated and short-tempered. We get lost in ourselves. Sin attacks and tries to get the upperhand in our lives.
Are you asking the Holy Spirit to work Jesus’ resurrection power in your life? Are you praying for Him to work that in others? If you are not saved, ask Him to begin that work in you today. He will change you. If you are a Christian, ask Him to continue that work in you. He will change you.
The book of Hebrews ends with a beautiful benediction:
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep…equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ…Hebrews 13:20-21
If you are convinced that you can’t change, you’re right. But Christ can do what you can’t, and He will if you ask Him. He is power to change, and to keep on changing for good. Ask the Risen Shepherd, Jesus Christ, to equip you with everything good so you can live a life that’s pleasing to God.