Ezer Equipped Newsletter | Resurrection Hope
Topics: Easter, Ezer, Hope, Resurrection
This month, we are discussing the hope of the resurrection. The resurrection and our union with Christ have always been the bedrock of our faith, but we believe there is particular strength, hope, and courage we can draw from these truths today—especially in this time of uncertainty. So we want to help you shift your gaze from your current circumstances, what is seen, and draw your eyes, instead, toward what is unseen—the resurrected Christ!
The life we’ve grown accustomed to has given way to a new reality many of us could have never imagined. But we aren’t the first people in history to have ever felt that way. Can you imagine what Jesus’ death must have been like for his early followers? How surreal and disorienting the crucifixion must have been for the men and women who knew and loved him? Each of their lives had been radically altered by him and his death left them reeling. Life, as they had known it, had taken a drastic turn. For the disciples, the crucifixion was the death of hope.
The resurrection isn’t just some historical event we acknowledge on Easter. It is the hinge-point of our faith. For early followers of Jesus, and for us, the resurrection changes everything! Through Christ, cowards become courageous and the weak become strong. Those who are spiritually dead in their sins raise to a new life in Christ, with new power and new potential. Honor and glory replace shame. And hope replaces despair.
The resurrection is proof that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough. God was pleased. Sin and death were defeated. A new kingdom has been ushered in. And our salvation is secured. Now our lives are united with Christ. We have a new nature as righteous saints, a new status as beloved children, and a new future as co-heirs with Christ, who eagerly await an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
As I meditate on all of this, I am compelled to worship. My heart, which can at times feel cold to the gospel, begins to burn with new fire. And this is only a portion of the resurrection hope we have. We simply cannot even begin to fathom the full implications of the resurrection for our lives—both the grace we currently have and the grace we eagerly await.
This month, we want to help you fan into flames the gracious gift of faith! We want to help you know, understand, and live in the kind of hope that can only be found in an empty tomb. We hope and pray that the resources we’ve provided will help you grow strong in your faith and lead you to worship well this Easter, in spite of the circumstances and uncertainty of our times.
Grace Church Women’s Discipleship Advisor
Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 15
This passage is meaty and dense, but it is worth reading. The entirety of our Christian faith hinges on Jesus’ resurrection. If the resurrection didn’t happen, we are still dead in our sins, separated from God, and without hope. But, as Paul highlights, Christ was raised from the dead and we now have a rock-solid hope!
A quote from the passage:
“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”
Article: 10 Things You Should Know About the Resurrection
by: Adrian Warnock
This article highlights ten important things we should know about Christ’s resurrection—why it matters, how it changes us, and how it shapes our present and our future.
“What this means is that when Jesus rose again he was declared to be righteous—not just lacking any sin, but embodying holiness. The credit of Jesus's perfection outweighed the debt of our sins. And now, the Christian is counted as righteous. Not ‘just as if I had never sinned’ so much as ‘just as if I had already lived a holy life.’”
Book: Comforts from the Cross
by: Elyse Fitzpatrick
Elyse has written a 31-day devotional style book that highlights the implications of the gospel for our everyday lives.
“When those early christians faced the chains and the beatings and felt the lick of the flame...they didn’t assuage their breaking hearts through a rehearsal of their personal accomplishments. They remembered that God became a man; he died and rose again; he is ruling as the ascended Lord, and he is also dwelling within—their only hope of glory.”
Podcast: Raised With Christ
by: Daily Grace
In this podcast, the hosts remind us of the truths of the resurrection, how it changes the way we live, and how it empowers us to live with hope in suffering.
“If we live in light of the resurrection, our lives can be marked with generosity and hospitality. We don’t need to hold on to what we have in this life, because our true inheritance is imperishable. It’s the resurrection that empowers us to live in a way that is totally radical and countercultural.”
Song: Never Be The Same
by: The Emerging Sound
This short music video from Emerging Sound is powerful.
“I am not what I once was. My whole life has been changed. I met the forgiver and now this sinner will never be the same.”
by: Elevation Worship
This video by Elevation captures the power and hope embedded in the resurrection.
“The fear that held us now gives way to him who is our peace. His final breath upon the cross, is now alive in me.”
Playlist: Grace Church Spotify Playlist
by: Grace Church
Follow Grace Church’s Spotify playlist created especially for this season.
We encourage you to use these conversation starters as a means of self-reflection and for discussion within your community.
When our imaginations are captured by a risen, ruling Jesus, the Spirit of God stirs hope, courage, peace, and power within us. But the reality is that our eyes are often so focused on other things that we give a mere nod to the resurrection at Easter and never experience its power.
- How would you describe your response to the resurrection? What is your posture toward this good news? It's okay if it’s distant or doubtful. Just be honest with God about it. Remember that Thomas, Jesus’ follower, struggled to believe and Jesus was not offended by that. In fact, he invited Thomas to come close, to touch, to see, and ultimately, to believe.
- How can the reality of the resurrection steady you as you experience and endure suffering in this life?
- How can focusing on the reality and implications of a resurrected King stir hope, courage, peace, and power in you—especially now?
Scripture warns us to not just be hearers of the Word but to be doers of it as well. All of life is repentance. What is a believable next step God is calling you to take in response to all you’ve learned? Pick one or two of the below steps to take.
- We created a new resource for you: Christ’s Work, My Inheritance. Print this out and work through it over the next month. Use this resource to help you focus your eyes Jesus and on the power and hope of the resurrection.
- Easter is a time to draw our eyes on a victorious king—a time to remember that the harms to me, the harms by me, and the brokenness of the world all find their resolution in the victory of the cross and the resurrection. Especially in this time of uncertainty our eyes need to be directed towards not what is seen, but what is unseen, which is a risen, reigning, benevolent ruler who holds all things together. One way to do that is Scripture memory. Memorize Colossians 1:15-17. Whenever you are struggling with fear, self-protection, uncertainty, anxiety, or hyperactivity as a form of control, recite these verses as a reminder of the hope and security found in Christ’s completed work on the cross.
- With our eyes focused on Christ, we are freed and empowered to love our neighbor. Fixing our eyes on Christ draws our attention off ourselves—our wants and needs—and clears our vision to see the needs of others. In the days ahead, many opportunities will present themselves to love and serve others. Pray that God would free you from fear and empower you to give of your time, energy, and resources sacrificially. Below are just a few ways you can love and serve your neighbor in this time:
- Go to the grocery for your elderly neighbors and those who are medically vulnerable.
- Provide groceries, meals, and laundry service for families of healthcare workers.
- Send encouraging Scriptures or prayers.
- Facetime those who live alone.
- Check in with friends who struggle with anxiety and depression.
- Support small local businesses.
- Share supplies that others may need.
- Organize a plan for your neighborhood for connection and care.
Book: Union With Christ
by: Rankin Wilbourne
Article: Radical Effects of the Resurrection
by: John Piper
Article: The Hope of the Resurrection
by: Tyler David
Bible Study: The Resurrected Life
by: She Reads Truth
Article: Spiritual Rhythms for Quarantine
by: Justin Whitmel Early
Article: 9 Ways to Love Your Neighbor In This Pandemic
by: Justin Whitmel Early
This resource is adapted from our Ezer Equipped monthly newsletter dedicated to equipping our women with content, from both within and outside of our church, to help us continue to grow as disciple and disciple-makers. To subscribe to the Ezer Equipped newsletter, click here.