I want to share a thought with you about the resurrection of Christ.
Most of us are keenly aware of the prominence of identity theft in our culture. LifeLock and other companies specialize in trying to secure your identity from hackers who want to pilfer your personal information and profit from it. Thieves want to steal your name and information for fraudulent purposes. Elyse Fitzpatrick points out that the surprising reality is that we as Christians have someone else’s identity. Our identity is not Fred or Jane or Bill, but Christ—we are “Christ”ians who now bear the identity of Jesus. We have been given an identity that we weren’t born with and didn’t earn the right to use. But in the words of Fitzpatrick, “…you’re invited to empty the checking account and use all the benefits this identity brings! This is so much better than identity theft—it’s an identity gift!”
Our new identity is made possible because of the resurrection of Christ. Since Jesus lives, God enters our lives through the person of the Holy Spirit. This means, among other things, that we are children of God and not slaves (Romans 8:15-17). David Needham comments that this expands our view of what salvation is all about. We sometimes think of salvation as a “Jesus filter,” in which “God looks at me and it’s a good thing he doesn’t really see me because I’m still a dirty, rotten loser who doesn’t deserve any kind of love at all, who isn’t worthy of anything at all. The fact is that when Jesus extended his grace to me he gave me more than forgiveness. He gave me a new identity and a resurrection and a re-creation. I got more than a Jesus filter, so that when God looks at me he doesn’t see the real me. Jesus gave me a new me.” The resurrection means that God actually makes me a new creature through Christ, and confers on me a brand new identity.
The resurrection means you can have a completely new identity in Christ! And that’s something to celebrate!