Many years ago, before I became a Christian, I went to an Easter Service. I remember when it came time for communion, a thought came to me, “I’m going to walk out of here the same person I was when I came in.” and I knew it was true. I also knew, for some reason, that I should not go forward to take communion, so I didn’t.
It still seems strange to me. I grew up going to church on Easter and on various other occasions, was confirmed in the Episcopal Church, but for some reason, that Easter, I knew I wasn’t a Christian. I knew I was going to walk out that door and nothing in my life would have changed.
Fast forward several years and all that changed. God began a work in me and even though you probably couldn’t see it clearly on the outside, I knew there was something different that went beyond the hope I felt after.
Side note – I was very depressed, life was overwhelming, I wanted to die. I didn’t want to go to heaven, I didn’t want to go to hell, I just wanted to not exist, to not feel anymore. As I lay in my bed, I said to God, I need help, I know this is wrong, please help me and He did. I woke up the next morning, rolled over in bed, looked out the window and thought “it’s a new day” and for the first time in I don’t know how long I felt hope, life changing hope.
But there was more.
There was love, there was belonging, it was like being born anew. I remember my stepmom giving me a necklace with a cross as a welcome home present and I knew, like the prodigal son, I had come home to my real home, my eternal home and life would never be the same.
Never the same and yet the same. Pain still exists, I get hurt, I’ve endured hardships, I’ve failed, I’ve felt broken and yet it has changed.
I know my Creator, He calls me by name, and I am His, forever I will walk in His goodness, His mercy, His grace. He is my redeemer and He holds my heart. I am loved and I love in return.
On Easter, I celebrate this reality – my Redeemer lives. I know He rose from the grave, conquering sin and death and bringing life. I know my eternal Savior loves me, He died for me, He gave His life, He became a man to give His life, so that I could be Redeemed.
How do I know? I know through study, I know through His word, I know through hearing His Word proclaimed… But how do I really know? I know because everything in me tells me it’s true. I know because I am not the same person I was that day long ago, I was born again of the Spirit, and my heart knows it is true.
6 Proofs of Christ’s Resurrection
For further reading on how we know, you can read 6 Proofs of Christ’s Resurrection written by one of my favorite teachers, Steve Brown. He begins, “How can we possibly believe in the actual resurrection of Christ? How do we know it even happened at all? The implications, either way, are earth shattering.” I highly recommend reading the full article.
You Must Be Born Again – John 3:1-21 (NIV)
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with Him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.