Have you ever felt like spring’s beginning is just plain yucky? As we squelch through muddy backyards, wipe filthy dog paws, or dig in dirt to plant hopeful seeds, it is easy to focus on the dirt caked upon our shoes or underneath our fingernails. In doing so, we often forget the new creations breaking forth from the tender spring ground. I’m not sure what your “dirt” looks like, but the good news is, our yuck doesn’t define us. On this Good Friday, let’s remember the gravity of what Jesus did for us. We are no longer identified by the “dirt” of our lives; instead because of His loving sacrifice, we receive a new identity—we are new creations!
Friend, I have been there, lost in the dirt, full of worms, mud, centipedes, and spiders. As I fumble through difficult moments of depression and anxiety, muddy lies of condemnation darken my sight: you are worthless, you are unforgiven, you are unloved, you are hopeless, and you are weak. For me, it is easy to stay stuck in the dirt and continue to live condemned.
However, if I stay stuck in these lies, I miss the greatest gift of grace that is mine, and yours, because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection. Paul, who truly lived out his new identity in Christ, encourages us when He writes,
I don’t know about you, but this joy-filled passage, makes me eager for Easter Sunday. When we choose to follow Jesus in faith, we are new creations. We discard our old identity and step into our new identity in Christ. As I read this verse, I picture a dormant bulb, caked in dirt, beginning to sprout. First, an effervescent tubular stem shoots skyward. Then, a red based yellow tipped tulip says hello to the chilly spring air. The old is gone and the new has come; what hope there is in this!
So what does it look like to live as a new creation? As my husband and close friend, Meredith, lovingly remind me, I am not defined by my struggle with depressive and anxious thoughts. I am defined by Christ. And I speak the same words to you. You are not defined by your depressive and anxious thoughts. You are defined by Christ. You are forgiven, loved, filled with the Holy Spirit’s strength, and a child of God. This is your new identity.
Let’s find hope as we remember we don’t have to stay stuck in the dirt; instead, we are new creations breaking free from the mud. And may we somberly remember the death of our Savior, while we expectantly wait for Sunday. Sunday is coming, friends, and with it, the casting off of our old identities on the cross with Christ, and living out our new identities—risen indeed.
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