Resurrection Now and Later
Christianity is about something that happened; something that happened to and through Jesus; something that touches and transforms our life continually. Christian faith is centered on the cross. What led up to the cross, the event of the cross and repercussions of the cross throughout history is the story of Christian faith. The Christian faith is not about another moral teaching or some new religion or a book, object, or place. No! The Christian faith is all about one man—how he changed the world through his life, death, and resurrection. Our faith is about Jesus alone and what he did on the old rugged cross.
The resurrection of Christ is core to Christianity. If it were not for the resurrection of Jesus, Christianity would have never arisen to the heights that it did, and the Jesus movement would have been relegated to a footnote in history. In the cross, Jesus an innocent person was executed, abandoned by his friends and utterly forsaken by God. The resurrection is God’s faithful response to Jesus willingness to go all the way. It inspires hope for both the now and the future. The resurrection was not an arbitrary display of how powerful God can be; it was the inauguration, the in breaking of God’s kingdom, bringing with it a great hope for the future of this world and for those who cry out from the ground for justice.
God cares about everyone. There is not a single person, animal, or section of our universe outside of the love and care of God. Every life counts. Every life matters. God sees the pain of this life, hears our cry, and understands the brokenness and misery all too often common to life on earth. God is involved and taking the world to a certain place. The Kingdom planted from the beginning is growing no help or hindrance will affect it. In the end, God will have his way.
Jesus is not about rescuing us from our humanity, but showing us how to live life to the fullest, love everyone, and stand up for the little, least, and lost. Our task is not to judge, but to love, not to bash people with their shortcomings, but tell them of God’s incredible love for them. Jesus doesn’t want us on our knees he loves us into our better self so that we can follow his lead in showing the world God’s love.
Selfishness is a dead end. It only leads to sin and death, the anti-kingdom life. God leads us into the open, free life of love and forgiveness, the eternal life of the kingdom. Anyone selfishly absorbed ignores God, thinking only of what they want and how they can fulfill their personal desires. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. That person thinks more highly of themselves and stomps on others. God wants a personal relationship with all of us. God wants us to live our lives alongside Him. If God himself has taken up residence in our life, we can hardly think more of ourselves than of him. God’s loving presence will not leave us untouched. We will never be the same and there is no going back.
Christians are not dominated by the flesh, but are under the rule of Christ. Though the body is still subject to death, life prevails because united with Christ we live to and with God. We stop living for our own happiness and seek to bless others with our life. This is how God created us to live. Life with God is not about escaping this world into some otherworldly paradise, but making this world as it is in heaven. We repent, turn from the life we were living and trust that God knows what he is doing and that by embracing God’s grace, we will live into the life we have always wanted to live.
This life will not be easy, sunshine and moonbeams, but will be difficult, at times suffering and darkness will overpower us. Yet, the darkness isn’t the end of our, it’s just part of it. Jesus is with us. I know this. I am in the midst of health issues. I could let get me down and question my faith. I could that would be very easy. I am and I won’t let it. I pray that this too will make me stronger and more able to bless others.
I like many others need resurrection now and later.
I like many others need God’s power and glory in my life.
I like many others need to know that Gods love will never let me go.
If God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into our life, He’ll do the same thing in us that He did in Jesus, causing us to live vibrant fresh life in Christ. When God lives and breathes in us, as surely as he did in Jesus, we are delivered from dead life to eternal life. God makes us into the people we are to be and live the life we are to live. This is not because we deserve it, because we don’t, but because we trust, God to do what Jesus promised he would do. We take God at his word and hold fast to faith. In trusting God, in making God our center, we live into the grace lavished on us. As Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, and God-glorifying people, we are on the way to life eternal; death is only an interlude that all must pass through on the way to the Kingdom.