Recently our church took on the task of remodeling our sanctuary. As someone in our church remarked, “They say that you cannot build a church with older people, but you sure can remodel one with them.” I want to express my appreciation to all the wonderful folks who came out to help, including some of the retired guys who were there virtually every day during this month long process. The remodel is almost complete and it looks great! It is amazing what can be done to give new life to a building.
It is even more amazing what God has done to give new life to us in Christ. As Easter approaches and as we prepare to celebrate Easter in our newly remodeled sanctuary, I got to thinking about the “remodel” God does in each believer's life in Christ. And Easter is the key to that remodel, that profound renewal of our lives.
When we moved to Lolo in 2004, our church sanctuary was firmly defined as still belonging to the 70's. The carpet and pew fabric was orange. The pendant lights were orange. The walls were dark paneling. That is the way it was. It screamed “out of touch.”
In the same way, human beings are “out of touch” as well – but we are “out of touch” with God. The Bible says that we are powerless to reach out to God and that we were ungodly in our outlook. (Rom. 5:6) We were sinners in rebellion against God (Rom. 5:8), people who had suppressed the truth of God in our lives and exchanged that truth for something much less. (Rom. 1:18, 22-23) As a result, the person apart from God is actually called an enemy of God – one who is antagonistic toward Him. (Rom. 5:10) There was nothing we could do to make us acceptable to God.
Thankfully Easter reminds us of how all of that can change in Jesus Christ. Jesus sacrifice on the cross justifies the believer before God, it makes us legally righteous before Him. (Rom. 3:22-24) Jesus' sacrifice redeemed us or purchased us back from the power of sin and death that held us in slavery. (Eph. 1:7) Jesus also reconciled us to God, taking us from being enemies of God to being children of God and, through his resurrection, granting us new life in Him. (Rom. 5:10, 2 Cor. 5:18) So what we are talking about here is so much more than a remodel – this is a complete renewal of life. This is why were celebrate Easter, because Easter is our most profound reminder that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17)