For many years now, my favorite passage of Scripture has been Psalm 103. God frequently uses the first five verses of this chapter to reorient my heart and remind me of His faithful love. David’s words in this Psalm are penned to his very own soul, and his direction in verse 2 is simple: “My soul, bless the Lord, and do not forget all his benefits” (CSB).
How easy it is to forget all that God has done for us. We are fragile and finite beings with a tendency to be distracted and discouraged. I’m afraid it doesn’t take much to entice our focus and affection from Jesus.
The Lord knows this about us, and that’s why over and over in Scripture, He instructs us to remember. Remember who God is and what He has done. Remember His faithfulness for all the generations that have come before. Remember His faithfulness in our very own lives. Like David’s example in Psalm 103, it’s important for us to intentionally preach to our own souls the goodness of the gospel and the greatness of our God. Remembrance is a vital aspect of what it means to follow Jesus.
As we approach Easter this year, what if we put remembrance into practice and made it a daily discipline? Like the story of Jesus’ birth that we celebrate at Christmas, the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection has become so familiar to many of us that we might skim over the details and rush through the emotions and the key moments of the story. Sadly, because the death and resurrection of Jesus is central to our faith and therefore quite familiar, we might even be tempted to take this beautiful and true story for granted. May it never be so.
Let’s fight that temptation and tendency this year. This Easter season is a perfect time to create a regular rhythm of remembrance.
Remember the Reality of Sin.
The depth of our sin and the consequences for sin are serious. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). We are dead in our sin (Eph. 2:1). This is the reality. Sin is not simply bad behavior. Apart from Jesus, it is a hopeless death sentence for every single human being.
The excruciating nature of the death that Jesus endured on the cross for our sins—for the punishment we all deserve—is indicative of the seriousness of sin. Our Savior endured horrific suffering on our behalf, and we must not gloss over this reality or the nature of our sinful condition. Sin is serious. Jesus’ death was serious. And we need to remember the reality clearly so that we can properly worship the gracious God who gave His beloved Son so that we can be saved.
This Easter season, let’s read and meditate on the accounts of Jesus’ death found in the gospels. As we slow down and allow ourselves to remember the depth of our sin that led to the reality of the cross and Jesus’ suffering, we will understand even more the significance of His extravagant gift of grace and mercy.
Remember the Grace and Mercy of God.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” (Eph. 2:4-5, CSB).
These are two of the most beautiful verses in all of Scripture. The mercy and grace of God is truly astounding. While we were still dead in our sin and completely helpless and hopeless, God sent Jesus to die for us (Rom. 5:6-8). He took the punishment we deserve and made a way for us to be welcomed into His family as beloved sons and daughters. He lavishes us with the extravagant gifts of redemption, adoption, an inheritance, forgiveness, and hope (Eph. 1:3-14). He gives us His Holy Spirit to comfort, convict, teach, and guide us in our lives (John 14:26). He not only saves us from our sin, but He lives with us and provides us with the peace of His presence in every moment. His grace and mercy cannot be contained. It overflows into every aspect of our lives.
May we never take His grace and mercy for granted. May we never tire of hearing the story of His great love for us. This Easter, let’s remember how truly loved we are and how truly kind our God is.
Remember the Power of His Resurrection.
Jesus conquered death once and for all. Death is the great enemy of humanity. Nothing can stop it, and everyone will experience it. And yet, Jesus is victorious over death. This reality is central to our faith (1 Cor. 15). Because Jesus overcame the grave, we have hope. Death does not have the final say. Jesus does, and He is the source of eternal life and eternal hope.
The Easter story reminds us that even in the very worst moments of life—the very darkest of nights—there is always hope because Jesus is alive. Because He lives, we can face anything. Because He lives, we know that darkness and suffering and pain and sorrow will not last forever. There is joy in the light of the morning even after the darkest of nights. There is hope. There is life in Jesus, and that changes everything.
So, this Easter, let’s remind our own souls like David once did to never forget who God is. To never forget what He has done. Let’s take time to remember all His benefits: “He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion. He satisfies you with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle” (Ps. 103:3-5).
Tessa Morrell is a production editor for ongoing curriculum at Lifeway. She is passionate about serving in her local church and studying the Word of God with others in Bible study. When she’s not busy reading, she enjoys visiting local coffee shops, spending hours browsing in antique stores, and crafting and creating art.