Raised from the Dead
Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen. Matthew 28:5-6
Five years ago, this week, I was a mess. Unable to hide my addiction any longer, I was forced to leave my job and was on my way to treatment. My marriage, like my faith, was a wreck. With career and family evaporating, I knew my life was over. Little did I understand or feel like it at the time, but that was the beginning of rebirth, transformation, and resurrection.
For years, I’d lived a life of following myself, which fulminated in a profoundly destructive drug addiction. I’d turned from God, abandoning my spiritual life. Embracing only my flesh life, I’d sown the seeds of destruction, reaped the consequences, and was existing in the living death of addiction. I needed a new life, but I was still clinging desperately to the old one. The old life had to die, which was a profoundly painful process.
Coming out the other side though, has been a glorious rebirth. Daily now, I look back, thanking God that I’m not still in that place. Daily, I thank Christ for his death and resurrection. It is only because of his sacrificial death that I’ve been forgiven and restored to the father. In following me, I found only misery and death. In following him, I found freedom and life. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). The same power that raised Christ from the dead brought me back to life.
To get there though, I had to use the freedom Christ provided to do whatever it took to crucify my addiction and follow him. That meant painful and radical change.
I’d like to say that I’ve lived the perfect new life for the last five years. The Christian life though, is a continual process of transformation. Daily, I experience the new life as long as I continue to turn from the old one. I still fail and I still need God’s grace and forgiveness, but I now live in fantastic freedom from my addiction. This is the power and the new life that awaits anyone who will do what it takes to turn from the old life and follow Christ.