Observation:  Just about everybody I meet is “broke down.”  Friends are worn out, frazzled, overwhelmed; strangers on the street just appear beat.  Half our church, it seems, is limping, and the other half snorting and hacking from the pollen.  Not to mention the ones with broken bodies and broken hearts. Life tramples us all at times.

Yet here we are at Easter, the time when we contemplate Jesus’ death and celebrate with wonder His resurrection.

If Jesus’ death and resurrection provide our victory, then why, pray tell, do so many of us seem on the edge of defeat?

Let’s explore this question together.

Day 1:  “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”  Rom. 6:11

Maybe one reason we’re all beat is that we’re dragging around a dead body.  Picture a butterfly with one foot hung in the cast-off cocoon.  That’s us.  We’ve been set free to fly, to soar to heights of victory on the winds of the Spirit, but we can’t quite shake off that dead cocoon. In Galatians, Paul exclaims, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) Christ in you is the butterfly; your sin nature is the cocoon.  Sure, in this world, we can never quite kick off the cocoon, but we can practice soaring.  Go outside, right now, and flap your arms in elegant butterfly motions.  This free-to-fly creature is the real you, the one you get to be for eternity.  Let that truth lift your heart one more day.

Day 2:  “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Rom. 5:5

And speaking of hearts, yours is overflowing, whether you feel it or not.  In fact, the more God empties His love into your heart, the lighter it becomes.  What happens is, we pack so much baggage around our hearts, that instead of overflowing with hope, they kind of ooze and mix with the garbage and become rank with hopelessness.  This time go to your sink and fill a clear glass with water, let it overflow continually.  This is your real heart, the way it will look in Heaven.  Walk more lightly today, Sister, knowing the full measure of hope that is yours.

Day 3:  “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access through faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Rom. 5:1-2

And speaking of feet, yours are shod in princess shoes.  Yes, they are!  You walk in hope and stand in grace and live in the rich shalom of God, where everything is as it is meant to be.  No, it may not feel that way today, but in the unseen Kingdom, it is.  You are, and forever will remain, the King’s precious and most-loved daughter.  Now I personally don’t own any shoes fit for a princess; maybe you do.  If so, put them on.  If not, cover your feet in flowers and pretend you’re wearing princess shoes.  Marvel at your true identity, and raise your hands to your Father, the only King!

Day 4:  “…in all these things, we are more than conquerors, through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8:37

Speaking of hands, yours is holding a sword, which proves that you are victorious.  It may not feel that way—whether you’re going through a major difficulty or a minor annoyance, you just want it to end, don’t you? And when it drags on, you think you’re defeated.  But what does Paul say our sword is?  The Word of God. (Eph. 6:17) And what does our Word for today tell us?  Through God who loves me, and because of Jesus Christ my Lord, I am…say it out loud together…MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!

Day 5:  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Rom 8:18

On your head, you wear a glory hat.  I kid you not!  If you could only see the pictures from my childhood of my mother and her two sisters modeling their fancy Easter hats!  I don’t know where that particular fashion trend came from, but I do know that our promised reward is a shining crown of glory. (1 Pet 5:4) I’m not exactly sure what that fashion accessory means either, but I’m pretty certain it involves finally being transformed into the likeness of my glorious Lord.  You see, bonnets aside, Easter means that God’s wrath has been satisfied.  His justice, which demanded that the guilty be punished, rained down on the cross until Jesus, as Mark Buchanan put it, was totally obliterated.  His mercy deemed that you and I, the guilty, be declared righteous, and rewarded as such.  Our reward is this: Forever, we will reflect Jesus’ glory.  You can begin today.  Even though your feet may be dragging and your glory hat a bit askew, put that hat on today and shine, Sister, shine for Jesus!

May your Resurrection Sunday be most blessed!