Romans 6:4-14 (NIV)

4 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. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

1 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast–as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

DEVOTION -Galina Samson (Voronezh, Russia)

I grew up at a time in our country when the word God was written without a capital letter.  Belief in God was viewed as irrational behavior.  But on a particular day every spring, homes were filled with unusual baking smells and decorated eggs; there was a festive sense in the air.  I enjoyed baking kulich (Russian Easter cake) and decorating eggs.  Often people to the cemetery.  In many cases, this was the only day in the year when deceased relatives were remembered.  If you had a table laden with Easter dishes and had been to the cemetery, then Easter had been celebrated well.

Then I came to the Lord.  I discovered that decorating eggs is not important; an abundant table is not necessary; and one can visit the graves of loved ones any day.

For me, Easter became a festival of light.  Even if the clouds blocked the sun on Easter, the light of Christ illuminated the day.  I don’t think I will ever understand the deep meaning of Christ’s coming to earth.  But I can feel his endless love.  And it is a miracle that is directly connected to me.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What does Easter mean to me?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for the miracle of the Resurrection – and that we are a part of it.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: SOMEONE CELEBRATING EASTER FOR THE FIRST TIME

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