In the days leading up to Easter Sunday, I found myself coming back to one prayer in the Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. The prayer I kept returning to is called “Crucifixion and Resurrection” and it resonated deeply with me for two reasons.
First, I am reminded that Jesus’ death and resurrection is what frees me to live righteously. I am no longer under sin’s rule but am free from sin’s power. However, I continue to submit myself to sin and all of its fleeting and alluring delights. Peter reminds us that Jesus died “so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). Sin’s power is broken and defeated because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Second, I am reminded of the need to stand strong and steadfast to God’s purpose, regardless of the cost. This is modeled by Jesus’ example through His suffering (1 Peter 2:21-23).
“Crucifixion and Resurrection”
O Lord, I marvel that thou shouldst become incarnate, be crucified, dead, and buried. The sepulchre calls forth my adoring wonder, for it is empty and thou art risen; the four-fold gospel attests it, the living witnesses prove it, my heart's experience knows it. Give me to die with thee that I may rise to new life, for I wish to be as dead and buried to sin, to selfishness, to the world; that I might not hear the voice of the charmer, and might be delivered from his lusts. O Lord, there is much ill about me - crucify it, much flesh within me - mortify it. Purge me from selfishness, the fear of man, the love of approbation (praise) the shame of being thought old-fashioned, the desire to be cultivated or modern. Let me reckon my old life dead because of crucifixion, and never feed it as a living thing. Grant me to stand with my dying Saviour, to be content to be rejected, to be willing to take up unpopular truths, and to hold fast despised teachings until death. Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained. Never let me wander from the path of obedience to thy will. Strengthen me for the battles ahead. Give me courage for all the trials, and grace for all the joys. Help me to be a holy, happy person, free from every wrong desire, from everything contrary to thy mind. Grant me more and more of the resurrection life: may it rule me, may I walk in its power, and be strengthened through its influence.