April 8, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NRSV)
As we work together with him, we entreat you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation!
Today is Easter Sunday. On this special day we remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Through dying and rising again, Jesus broke the power of sin and death. He made sure the way of salvation. Thus, we might say on this day, “Now is the day of salvation!”
This devotion is part of the series: Treasure in Clay Jars.
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
I greet you this morning in the way that Christians have done for centuries on Easter Sunday. Even before we say “Happy Easter,” we affirm the truth that makes all the difference in the world. We celebrate together the good news of the resurrection. Jesus has broken the power of sin and death. Jesus has opened up the portal to life. He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
During the last weeks of Lent, I have been writing Life for Leaders devotions based on 2 Corinthians 4-5. This extraordinary passage of Scripture articulates as clearly as any biblical passage the Lenten reality of our mortality. It points to our great need for a Savior, ending with the core truth of Good Friday, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
What follows after this final verse of 2 Corinthians 4-5 is an exclamation that is perfect for Easter Sunday. The Apostle Paul, urging people not to accept God’s grace in vain, borrows words from Isaiah 49:8 and says, “See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!”
If you think about it, that would be another wonderful Easter greeting. We could begin by saying, “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Then we might add, “See, now is the acceptable time.” To which another would respond, “See, now is the day of salvation!”
The resurrection of Jesus is essential for salvation. For one thing, it demonstrates the victory of God over sin and death. If Jesus had died on the cross for our sins but remained dead, we would have little confidence that his death actually saved us. But the resurrection assures us that his death did indeed have saving power.
The resurrection isn’t only a sign, however. In the mystery of God’s providence, when Jesus arose from death he broke its power. What he began on the cross was completed in the tomb as he came to life. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:
“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, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the moment of the resurrection, God was victorious. Sin and death were defeated.
Therefore, now is the day of salvation. For many of us, we first were saved in the past when we put our faith in Christ. I did this almost 60 years ago. But today can be a day of salvation as we remember what God did for us in Christ and how Christ shattered the power of sin and death through his resurrection.
For many, today will be the day of salvation in the most literal sense. When I was a pastor, I loved preaching on Easter Sunday for many reasons. One was that we had so many visitors in church, many of whom did not know the Lord. I was grateful to be able to tell them about what God had done for them in Christ and to invite them to accept God’s grace in Christ. I was thrilled when people did this on Easter Sunday. For them, it was truly the day of salvation.
If you’re a subscriber to Life for Leaders, chances are good that you have already experienced salvation through Jesus Christ. Let me encourage you to remember how this happened and to celebrate what God has done for you. In this way, today can be a day of salvation for you.
If you are a Christian, I would urge you to pray for those who will hear the gospel today for the first time. Pray also for those who have heard the good news before but never responded in faith. Ask the Lord to open their hearts to the truth so that, for them, today might be truly the day of salvation.
If you’re reading this devotion but have never experienced salvation through Christ, let me encourage you to take to heart what God has done for you. Accept God’s grace through Christ. Put your trust in the Lord. You may find it helpful to talk and pray someone who is further down the road than you. Look for an Easter worship service or call up someone you know to be a wise Christian.
No matter where you are right now in relationship to Christ, may you take this to heart: See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!
What does Easter Sunday mean to you?
How have you experienced the salvation of God through Christ?
Be sure to greet someone today with the good news, “Christ is risen!”
Gracious God, today is the day of salvation! Today we celebrate how you have saved us through Jesus Christ, through his death and especially, on this day, his resurrection.
Help us, we pray, to remember what you have done for us in Christ. Help us to celebrate with joy and gratitude. Help us to pray for those who have yet to experience your salvation. May this be truly the day of salvation for them! Amen.
Banner image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: 3 Reasons Easter Matters for Your Work.
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.