Easter Every Day


Even though Easter 2023 has come and gone, the power of Easter is something a believer should experience daily. The resurrection of Jesus is not just some theological truth we know in our heads. It’s a power that transforms the way we live our lives. That’s the reason the whole idea of Lent is out of sync with the scriptures. Lent is a time of self-denial and moderation, personal repentance, and a forsaking of sinful activities or habits--but isn’t that what we’re called to do daily, and not just for forty days before Easter?

The Christian life is to be lived daily through self-denial. It’s the way of the cross, the Calvary road. In Luke 9:23 our Lord said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” With Easter now in the rearview, let’s remember that the Christian life is to be lived in resurrection power (see Philippians 3:10). Since there can be no resurrection without a death, we need to understand what it means to take up our cross daily.

1. Taking up your cross isn’t experiencing hardship.

Sometimes people refer to life’s difficulties as a cross they must bear. However, the cross Jesus referred to has nothing to do with merely experiencing hardship or carrying a burden. It refers to dying. This isn’t talking about your mother-in-law moving in or your boss at work. Whenever the Romans hung someone on a cross it was an execution. You hung there until you were dead. So don’t confuse life’s burdens with the daily cross we’re all called to bear.

2. Taking up your cross is dying to the old nature with its desires.

Taking up a cross to die means death to the old man so that the new man can be revealed. Remember, at conversion a person becomes a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is what Jesus meant when he told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:3) When a person receives Jesus, he or she becomes a brand-new person that can only live as the old nature dies.

Don’t confuse life’s burdens with the daily cross we’re all called to bear.

The Apostle Paul bluntly charged the Colossians to “put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5) He also exhorted the Ephesians to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Note that phrase “deceitful desires” and be reminded of how many times your desires lied to you. They held out the promise of excitement and pleasure and then left you feeling shame, guilt and disappointment. They are rightly called “deceitful desires” because they never deliver what they promise. Therefore, we should never trust our emotions or be controlled by fleshly impulse. Taking up your cross every day means death to the old nature with its desires.

3. Taking up your cross is the normal Christian life.

No less than five times in the New Testament we’re told: “If you would save your life, lose it for Jesus’ sake” (see Matthew 10:39, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, 17:23 and John 12:25). Jesus is not espousing some morbid philosophy of life that makes one miserable. What makes people miserable is living according to their own selfish desires. The Bible describes this kind of mindset as death (see Romans 8:6).

To really live and experience the normal Christian life, you must live in accordance with God’s will and in reliance on the Holy Spirit. Our own way is contrary to His way and leads to misery and destruction (see Proverbs 14:12). The way of the cross is understanding that God’s way is always best for us, even if it’s hard or painful at times. With Easter behind us on the calendar, don’t forget that as believers it’s to be a reality 365 days a year.

Understanding what it really means to take up our cross daily.