I Gave My Life to Christ on Easter…Again. Now What?
By Pastor Obbie Todd
Rededicate. Recommit. Reprioritize. There’s a language to cultural Christianity. Unfortunately, so much of the grammar we use in the Bible Belt isn’t actually…in the Bible.
More than any day on the calendar, Easter draws unbelievers of all walks to come and hear the saving Gospel for the very first time. But it’s also a day when nominal Christians are once again awakened to their lack of repentance and their need for Jesus. How are we to view these wayward souls? How do we address their spiritual needs and ensure they don’t use Easter as another perennial coping mechanism devoid of real faith?
The first step is the resurrection itself.
Repeat conversions are symptomatic of a church culture that misunderstands the rebirth. So many sinners feel they can “rededicate” their lives because they’ve never been told that they have to die. The old self must be crucified (Col. 3:9-10). Completely. Corpses don’t rededicate themselves. They either remain dead or they raise with Jesus. Easter sermons can often celebrate the resurrection of Jesus without calling His people to die and be raised with Him (Rom. 6:5-9).
Now of course this doesn’t mean that those who wait for the Lord can’t “renew” their strength or that God can’t “renew” a right spirit within us (Isa. 40:31, Ps. 51:10). However, there is only one rebirth. The resurrected Jesus will never die again, and His people, once raised, will never again be slaves to sin.
Easter isn’t about spiritual therapy. It’s about resurrection. And every sinner, churched or unchurched, must be confronted with the reality that God transforms His people (2 Cor. 5:17). We cannot be saved without being changed. Therefore, what passes in the Bible Belt as a simple “recommitment” may, in reality, be the cries of lost sheep who have e\never known the warm embrace of the Good Shepherd.
It is no less a miracle for God to change a sinner than for Him to save one. And that’s why Christ saves us into His body. He keeps us close. The Christian life is union with Christ. In other words, there has never been a Christian who loved the Head who willfully neglected His hands and feet. When we present the Gospel as a mere personal decision and omit our being raised in Him, we create a schizophrenic church, one that detaches itself from the rest of the body and invents its own Head.
In some sense, the American church has suffered a stroke, losing blood to the brain because its members are not united with themselves or tuned to God’s voice. The result is a church culture that believes it can be reborn every Easter.
But the tomb is empty. Jesus didn’t fold up His burial linens for the next occupant (John 20:7). He didn’t return to the grave. He left for good, and so do His people. Perhaps, if our “rededications” looked more like repentant criminals dying on crosses and less like volunteer sign-ups, there’d be far more risen souls leaving their messy tombs.
The church isn’t a brochure they hand you at the beginning of the Christian life. It’s the locus of the Christian life. God has created the church in such a way that the public reading of Scripture, the teaching of God’s Word, discipleship, and the encouraging community of God’s people all develop and strengthen that connection with the Head (1 Tim. 4:13, 2 Tim. 2:2). Faith in Jesus is a personal relationship with an inescapably public blueprint. The very same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is promised to transform us throughout our entire lives (Rom. 8:11, 2 Cor. 3:17-18). And He does this through the Word and the church (John 4:23, 1 Tim. 3:15).
In a culture of “rededicated” Christians, Easter is both a celebration that Jesus is alive and a call to participate in His life in the church. The best way to glory in the resurrected Jesus is by becoming part of His earthly body. In a real sense, it’s the only way.
The resurrection isn’t simply an event. It’s something you experience every day of your life in the church.