The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:5-6 NIV)
HE IS RISEN
You probably know R.A. Dickey as the journeyman pitcher that has found great success in his rejuvenated career thanks to the development of his knuckleball. Most people that follow baseball likely remember that he won the National League Cy Young Award in 2012, as he is the only pitcher to ever do so using the knuckleball as his primary pitch. Avid fans may even recall him pitching for Team USA in the 1996 Olympics and the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
But you might not be aware of the fact that Dickey is a survivor of sexual abuse that he suffered as a child. Most have never heard the story of how he was on the verge of suicide in 2006 before the Holy Spirit stepped in and stopped him at the last possible second. And few know about his miraculous survival of a near-death experience in the Missouri River a year later.
Around a decade ago, Dickey had hit rock bottom both professionally and in his marriage. His life almost ended on multiple occasions, and for him it seemed like it may have been his best option. But thanks to the power of Jesus Christ in his life, he found that he is not bound by the ghosts of his past, the pain of failures, or the uncertainty of his future. The death and resurrection of Jesus set R.A. Dickey free, and that holy redemption is available to all of us.
As we celebrate Easter today, we must not forget the power of Jesus’ resurrection as He walked out of that tomb. Let us also take time to reflect upon how powerful it is today. Jesus raising from the dead is possibly the most important event in history, yet it is so accessible and so important for how we live our daily lives.
Jesus died for all of us – for you and for me. He also came back for us. Jesus came back so that we may live in His presence for eternity. And that eternity does not begin when our earthly lives end, but the very moment when we give our lives to Him and accept the gift of His unfathomable grace.
Jesus defeated sin. He conquered death. He is alive! And because He lives, we are free. We are free from the bondage of sin and the darkness it has brought into our lives. We are free from the fear that comes with an unknown ending. We are free to choose life, because death has already been defeated!