I was watching a drama on TV when someone was asked in the middle of a tragic situation what they needed – to that question, they replied “a time machine”; so they could go back and have the time all over again and do something differently. How often we resonate with that sentiment? I wish I could have my time over again…I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice! Hindsight is a powerful thing if we take advantage of what we learn – but many of us need more than a second chance – we need a whole bag full of chances, because somethings we do are so entrenched in our behaviour that we continue to repeat our failings, even though, deep down, we know beIer!
What I have described is something that we all have in common…it’s part of our nature to repeat patterns of behaviour that become comfortable to us –even when the consequences of our choices can be devastating to us and those around us. Some of our patterns of behaviour have positive outcomes, but much of what we do, say or think comes at a cost and breaks down our relationship with others and, most importantly God.
This predisposition to selfish behaviour is what the Bible describes as ‘sin’ and we are all susceptible to it. Let’s face it. From the beginning of time, no one has been blameless in this regard – except for Jesus – who, although he was tempted like the rest of us; never sinned. Not even once! And because of his sinlessness and because of his sacrificial love, death could not hold onto Jesus…so he was able to dismantle the barrier between us and God that humanity had constructed…so that we now have the opportunity to be free.
The trouble is many of us hear the message and still choose live in bondage, we reject the opportunity to have a fresh start and a new beginning. Jesus came to set the captives free… but like a caged bird who is comfortable with the safety of environment, we would rather stay captive to our sin, than be free to experience the exhilaration and risk of setting off on a new journey guided by the Holy Spirit.
Easter reminds us of new beginnings; a fresh start; where we leave the past behind and embrace the opportunities that faith in Christ allows. But to be renewed in Christ you must risk letting go of the past and embrace the changes that are the consequences of giving our allegiances over to Christ. For most of us, change is something that is disconcerting; it’s uncomfortable and at times confronting. But change is what happened to the resurrected Jesus…and change is what we should expect if we allow the same resurrection power of our living Christ to permeate through our being.
So as always, it a choice. If we truly celebrate and apply the message of the risen Christ to our daily lives – then new life in Christ and new beginnings is what we should expect and what we should strive for – anything less would under value what Christ has done on our behalf.