Do you like to change? 

For most of us, the answer to that question is a resounding no. We enjoy our habits, our routines, and the way we live. When change comes or is demanded of us, we push back, become defensive, and procrastinate as long as possible.  

Why do we struggle so much with change? The answer is simple: pride.  

Every one of us believes we are doing things the right way — or at least the best way we can given our situations. If we didn’t, we’d already do things differently on our own. So when we’re confronted with the need to change, we are reminded that we still have growing to do, and that the way we are currently living might be wrong. 

That realization can be uncomfortable. And because we don’t like to be uncomfortable or wrong, we reject change. 

But change is the whole point of Easter. What happened on Resurrection Sunday 2,000 years ago — the climax of the greatest story ever told — changed world history. For those who accept the truth of the Resurrection, Easter is an uncompromising call for a lifetime of change. 

The Easter story starts with the fact that all of us have rejected God. We continually see God’s good guidelines and rules for our lives, decide we know better, and shake our fists at him and tell him, “No.” By sinning, we break the relationship we are meant to have with the God of the universe, a relationship that is the true source of life and joy. In our sin, C. S. Lewis remarked, we are far too easily satisfied with lesser things.

But the good news of the Gospel, of Easter, is that God wasn’t content with leaving us in our sin. He sent his son Jesus to live a perfect life and take the punishment we earned for our sin on the cross, bearing God’s wrath and our shame. He rose from the dead three days later to show that He defeated sin and death, so that if we turn from our sin and trust in Him, we will be reconciled to God forever. That relationship that you and I were created for — perfect fellowship with God — can be restored.

But this relationship isn’t automatically restored. According to Jesus, it requires change.

Jesus calls people to repentance repeatedly in the gospels, telling them to turn from their sin and their old ways of life (see Matthew 4:17, Luke 5:32). There is a real burden on you and me, with God’s help, to actively and truly change. Only then can we have a restored relationship with God. 

It’s a common temptation for us as Christians to think that since we have repented of our sins and are following Jesus, the change is over. “I’m a Christian now,” we say, “so I’m different.” 

But change isn’t that quick. In fact, the Apostle Paul says that changing into who God calls us to be takes a lifetime (Philippians 3:12). 

What does that mean for us? It means that constant change is expected, even required, for those who say they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus and are in a relationship with Him. Simply put, change is the mark of a Christian believer, and Easter is a yearly reminder of that truth.

What might that change look like practically? 

For many, it may simply be a new desire to change. Perhaps this Easter you’re realizing that repentance, growth, and change are normal patterns of life for a Christ follower. Such an increased awareness is a blessing itself and a sign of God’s work in your life.

For others, Easter’s call to change may look like abandoning what Paul describes as the works of the flesh in Galatians 5: envy, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, divisions, and drunkenness. These are replaced by embracing the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

It might also be a call to change our life pursuits, such as money, fame, a good career, and a healthy family. These can be good things, but they are all poor replacements for a life spent in pursuit of the glory of God.

Finally, it may also be a call to change how we act in the political world, embodying the fruits of the Spirit even in our antagonistic disagreements. After all, Paul offers no exemptions for our interactions with those who disagree with or oppose us.

Regardless of what the change is, one thing is certain: Jesus didn’t die on that cross and rise again three days later so that you and I could stay the same. 

Are you willing to change? 

Parker Snider is the operations manager at 1819 News.

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