The New Life

By Scott McClellan

In this Easter season, there’s a particular word you’re going to hear over and again. The word is emblazoned on all the creative work we’re producing these days. The word is even hanging in the worship center, painted bright red and suspended 30 feet above the stage in the space where our cross normally resides. It also happens to be one of the shortest but most powerful words in the English language:

New.

How do we know that’s one of our most powerful words? Because marketers use it over and again, and if marketers do something over and over again it’s because their data tell them it’s working. New styles! New episodes! New products available in New colors! 

New catches our eye. New makes everything else seem old. New stops us in our tracks. It’s almost as though we who are born dying possess an innate thirst for a wine we’ve never tasted. Beyond marketing tactics, New whispers a promise in a secret language only our souls understand. For the people of God, New is not a gimmick — it’s an identity and, at least for me, a helpful corrective. 

I need to hear New over and over again from this community of faith because I need to be reminded of a fundamental reality about what Jesus is doing in me and you: the Christian life is not an incremental self-improvement project. The Christian life is not a better life. The Christian life is a New life. 

As the Apostle Paul declared to the believers in Corinth so long ago, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus did not endure the cross to make you a little less of a liar. Jesus was not raised from the dead to inspire me to be more friendly to other motorists. When we follow Christ, we’re not following him into the land of “-er” — happier than we used to be, healthier than we used to be, wealthier than we used to be, nicer than we used to be, or stronger than we used to be. 

Jesus does not want to make you slightly above average. Jesus wants you to awaken to the fact he has made you New

The story of God is not one of cosmetic upgrades. The story of God is one of resurrection. Of re-creation. The God of this Easter season is not a life coach or a personal trainer — he’s the author of New life! 

I have an alarming tendency to forget that good truth, which is why I need a whole seven weeks of Easter to sit with it and stand in it and learn to lean on it. I need to hear that word — New — over and over again. I need to live in the victory of the one who will declare, “I am making everything New!” (Revelation 21:5) 

All the sudden, the phrase “Happy Easter” means a whole lot more to me now than it ever has before.  

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