Is there something in your life that needs to die? I don’t mean your spouse or children, your boss, or your mother-in-law. Rather, is there an attitude or habit that’s messing up your relationships, finances, health, emotions, and your spirit? It’s got to go before you can thrive; there can be no resurrection without death coming first.
 

This is definitely the season to begin a new life and new habits—to let go of the victim mentality and put on the mindset of a victor. The earth is bursting with new life: springy white lambs, calves, baby chicks and more. And despite the unseasonal amount of hail and snow we’ve had this year, daffodils and lilac buds are valiantly proclaiming spring is here. I am so ready!
But coming to life isn’t always as easy as it seems. Many babies have to work just to enter the world. Baby birds must peck their way out of the shell, and in so doing develop the strength to survive. If anyone does the work for them and pulls away the shell, they will die. The same is true with butterflies. They themselves must work their way from the cocoon and wait for their wings to unfold and dry before taking flight. 
Baby giraffes get unexpectedly rough treatment from Mom when they first stand up on their spindly, wobbly legs. She pushes them over, not just once, but over and over again! Though it seems cruel, she knows they must develop strong leg muscles quickly to escape predators looking for a giraffic snack.
It’s no surprise then, that we have to do a little work when we are reborn as well. First, comes death. The old self—the sinful, selfish, willful self has to go to make room for the new self (like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly). 

Our tendency though—my tendency—is to expect new life before I’ve died to the old one. We whine and complain about having to die, and get in the way of the abundant life God wants to give us. Debra Jarvis said it well in her article “Down Off the Cross” (Reader’s Digest, October 2016). “With any resurrection story, we know that you must die before you can be reborn…For us, being in the tomb means doing our own work around our wounds and letting ourselves be healed. We have to let our old story go so that a newer, truer story can be told about who we are.”
Jesus, the Son of God, submitted to death so life could once again course through His veins. He suffered men’s jealousy, misunderstanding, cruelty, and betrayal, yet was not a victim. His sacrifice thwarted Satan’s plans to dominate and enslave mankind. Jesus chose to die, submitting to His Father’s plan, in order to rise again as Lord and Victor over death. He did it for us, so we might have new life in Him.  
If we’re willing to let the old self die, we can be made new. “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from deathto life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness” (Rom. 6:13). The choice is ours—remaining a victim to sin, or accepting Jesus’ victory over sin to rise with Him abounding with joy. Death to life.
#Easter #deathtolife #Rom6:13 #John12:24 #dyingishardwork