Jesus’ tomb isn’t empty.

When Jesus walked out, someone else went in.

By your faith in the empty tomb, that hole in the ground became a grave again: for the old you.

Let me share five things that died when you put your faith in the risen Jesus and that can’t be allowed to live on like zombies in the new you.


1. Fear

The Bible says: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Here’s a prayer you’re going to want to pray every day:

Father, help me leave my spirit of fear buried where it belongs. Help me live with courage born of the power of the Resurrection as I follow you faithfully today.

2. Shame

The Bible says: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

By our faith in Jesus, our guilt is gone. Our sin is forgiven. But the voice of shame keeps trying to tell us we’re unworthy…of blessing, of peace, of joy, of purpose. It’s a lie. Nothing you’ve ever done is being held against you by God, so don’t let shame keep you from living in the light.

Here’s a prayer to keep shame in the grave where Jesus put it:

Jesus, thank you for forgiving me. I know what it cost you and I’m not going to waste the price you’ve paid by continuing to live in guilt and self-recrimination. Help me hold my head up high, knowing that I am forgiven and free.

3. Desires of the Flesh

The Bible says: “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:17-25

Like the severed hand of a zombie that has somehow clawed its way out of the grave, our old desires are always seeking to hold us back from the new life the Resurrection promises, but as a follower of the risen Jesus, God has given you a Spirit that is creating both a new fruit and a new hunger for that fruit.

Here’s a prayer to put to death what keeps trying to come back to life:

Holy Spirit, nail the coffin shut on what I used to want and fan into flame my desire for your fruit.

4. Hostility

The Bible says: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” Ephesians 2:13-17

When we were estranged from God because of our sin, there was a “dividing wall of hostility” between God and us and between us and others made in His image. The Resurrection destroyed both of those walls, but the temptation to continue viewing others – especially those who think differently than we do – through that lens of suspicion and animosity tries to keep us in the dark and unable to shine the light of the Gospel to those who desperately need it.

Here’s a prayer to keep the dividing wall of hostility in the tomb where it belongs:

God, thank you for seeing me with love even when I was your enemy. Help me to see others through that same lens.

5. Envy

The Bible says: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:1-3

Here’s a prayer to keep selfish desires from holding us back:

God, thank you for all you have done for me. Help me trust you to give me what I actually need. Help me remember that blessings should be counted, not coveted.

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Matt Rhodes


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