Shepherd Elie Hamuli
Paul writes to the Philippians and tells them to always rejoice in the Lord, meaning that regardless of their situation, the Lord should be the reason for rejoicing. The importance of rejoicing in the Lord is that it is your strength. Thus, do not let your joy be based on what can change tomorrow but on the Lord, who remains constant. When you have the joy of the Lord inside of you, it affects everything you do, from how you pray to how you praise.
Furthermore, having a good understanding of the effect of Easter in your life solidifies the reason to rejoice, and then Easter becomes less about Easter eggs and more about what Jesus did for you. Knowing how sin entered the world gives a better appreciation of Jesus’ death and resurrection. According to Romans 5:12, Paul teaches that sin entered the world through Adam. Thus, a person is not a sinner because of what they are doing but because of what Adam did. Adam’s disobedience gave humanity the nature of sinners, causing everyone to fall short of the glory of God [see Romans 3:23]. As a consequence of Adam’s sin, death entered the world, bringing decay and suffering. Another result of sin was that it brought an appetite for sin.
It is until you taste something that you can start craving it, so the first sin triggered the desire for sin in man (the flesh). Remember that God said they would surely die if they ate of the tree [see Genesis 2:17]. When the Bible spoke of death in this case, it referred to disconnection and separation from God, which eventually manifests as physical death. God is loving, and He is also just. So, when the devil deceived man into sin, he wanted to put God to the test by making Him choose between JUSTICE and LOVE in the way He dealt with man.
He must punish and correct sin in His justice, but in His love, He wants to spare man. The Bible says that the foundations of His throne are righteousness and justice [see Psalm 89:14], so if He did not exercise justice, it would shake His throne. On the other hand, His love for those He created in His image was so deep. The devil wanted to put God in a jam by choosing justice [correcting sin] or love [sparing the ones He loves]. And in God’s infinite wisdom, Jesus came to earth to die so that the correction is done, but the guilty ones are spared. Therefore, on the cross, Jesus took your place so that His love and justice could be expressed. The law required that for sin to be forgiven, blood had to be shed [see Leviticus 17:11 and Hebrews 9].
So, in the Old Testament, a person would bring a spotless lamb for their atonement, and the lamb was killed so that the sinner could walk away justified. That exchange between man and the lamb was a projection of what Jesus would do for humanity. He took your shame and guilt and gave you His righteousness. In the Old Testament, the priest inspected the lamb and then killed it, but for Jesus, before His death, He was beaten and bruised for our transgression. Thus, the exchange was not only done for your sins but so that you may access healing and riches. Isaiah 53:5 NKJV says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
Not only did He take care of the final product [our eternity], but He took care of the process [how we live on earth]. That exchange becomes effective when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. When He becomes Lord over your life, you no longer live for yourself but for Him. With your permission, He gets access to your life, where you decide to submit your life under His lordship. And that qualifies you for good health and riches here on earth. The qualification for what salvation entails is not based on merit but on Grace.
In the same manner that you became a sinner through Adam’s disobedience, you are made righteous through Christ’s obedience if you believe in Him [see Romans 5:19]. Jesus carried a sin that wasn’t His so that you carry a righteousness that is not yours. Knowing that your righteousness is not based on your actions but on what Jesus did for you shifts you from condemnation to victory. The power over sin and everything else comes from believing that your righteousness comes from Christ. Thus, you should rejoice with reason, and that is, you have been freed.