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Get Your Heart Ready for Easter with These Readings
"I want you to just listen and hear the Word of God read over you." —Natalie Abbott

Natalie Abbott, co-founder of Dwell Differently, wants to read God’s Word over you today. As we prepare to celebrate Easter, hear the truth about why the resurrection matters; slow down to remember that this good news is for us today; and meditate on the promise, power, and hope we have because Jesus is alive! If you want to follow along, open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 15:1–8, 12–28, 50–58; Romans 6:1–14; and Ephesians 1:18–23.

MARCH DWELL VERSE

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. —James 1:22

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Hey, welcome back to the Dwell Differently podcast. I'm your host, Natalie Abbott, and today I have just a little special Easter something for you. I am going to read through some verses that I've been meditating on and thinking about as I've been preparing my heart for Easter (READ MORE)

So I just want to read them for you.

I want you to just listen and hear the Word of God read over you. Let it wash over you. As you think about the power and the impact of the resurrection, that God would love us enough to send his own son to die for us. That you know, Jesus says there is no greater love than this, than to lay down your life for your friends.

And that is what Jesus has called us to. That is what he has proven to us. His love for us by sacrificing his own life so that we could become children of God. It is the most beautiful and important thing. It is the crux of what we believe as Christians. And so let me go ahead and just read a few verses over you as you continue to think about Easter and what it means in your own life.

I hope that this will be something that will really help you as you sort of settle in and think about Easter and how you will both celebrate the resurrection and just meditate in and allow the meaning and the depth to really impact you and your soul. 

So our first reading today is about why the resurrection matters. It's from 1 Corinthians 15. I've kind of picked out some different verses in there verses 1-8, 12-28 and 50 through the end. So let me go ahead and read. “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preach to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to the apostles and last, he appeared to me also as to one abnormally born. 

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 

“Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Did you hear that? This is why the resurrection matters because it is our life, the life that Jesus gives us. The life that has swallowed up death in victory. This is why the resurrection matters. 

Now I wanna turn to a passage in Roman 6. It's from verses 1-14 and it tells us that if we identify with Jesus in his death, we are saying that the resurrection isn't just that we would die and come back to life, but it is for our life now. It  should affect the way that we live. So let's read Romans chapter six verse one. 

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 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 death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

Now for our final reading, I'm going to read a prayer and actually pray over you. A prayer that Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:18-23. It's a prayer that you would know the hope of the resurrection, the promise of the resurrection, and the power of the resurrection. That you would know the reality that Jesus now sits at the Father's right hand ruling all things until our resurrection, when we will experience the fullness of life with him in person. So let me pray these words over you. 

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Amen. I hope that these readings have given you some insight into the resurrection and just given you some spiritual food to chew on for the next couple weeks until Easter comes and we celebrate the resurrection together as a holy church of God looking forward to the day when Jesus returns.

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Meet the Dwell Co-founder and Chief Content Officer

Natalie Abbott

Hey, I’m Natalie. I’ve got 5 kids, and I'm married to Jason, who’s a pastor. I write for Dwell and host our podcast among other things. It is seriously my dream job! I’m so glad you’re here. Thanks for listening to today’s show!

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