I meant to post this on Easter Sunday, since I am going to talk about the resurrection of Jesus. But after all, we should meditate, dwell, and hope in Christ’s resurrection everyday (as believers). We cannot forget it. The point of this post isn’t to “prove” the resurrection happened. There’s several sources and the Bible explains there was over 500 eyewitness accounts regarding this astonishing news of the risen Christ. However, I do want to point out the implications for us because for so long, I failed to understand how the resurrection affects how I should live. If it weren’t for the resurrection, we would have nothing to hope in and God would have contradicted His word. But in His abundant love and willing sacrifice, he sent a Savior into the world to redeem what was severed. He made a way for salvation, not only through death on the cross (killing our sin), but raising Jesus from the dead (raising new life). It isn’t just an event that occurred, it has actual implications for those who have placed faith in the person and work of Jesus.
I have been convicted lately of becoming complacent in faith. The more it started to churn at me that I started to become this comfortable in my faith, (which I still am, but God is faithful to move) the more I saw a disconnect in something I was failing to see–the importance of the resurrection. Let me explain. This is a recent revelation, and I have to remember that when God opens our eyes to stagnancy and complacency, we don’t just snap out of it and become all we say we want to be the next day. It is a process of sanctification and a matter of trusting that God will finish the work he started in us. Philippians 1:6 says: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” There is a huge link between complacent faith in the here and now when we don’t grasp the resurrection. For the longest time, I thought the gospel merely meant that Jesus saved me from sin. But it’s much more than that. It sets me into a freedom that can only be experienced through Jesus. It sets me to freedom, joy, and hope for more than the here and now, yet calls me to live for eternal things in the here and now.
The resurrection is the route to new life for those who place faith in Christ solely because sin was overcome by Jesus and death was conquered. It’s not like he killed sin for that sake itself. He desires to give abundant life. He became sin (in our place), conquered it, and delivered a great exchange of righteousness- not righteousness of our own doing, but His righteousness. But the righteousness could only be given to us if sin was severed. Our sin was conquered by the blood of Jesus alone at the cross. And the resurrection brings to us righteousness. Romans 6:4 makes it clear when it says: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” This gives us purpose to live for the Kingdom in the here and now. It should set a sense of urgency in our hearts to proclaim Christ to others and to reflect God’s glory. This is the exact reason I began to see a link in the complacency of my faith with the lack of understanding how the resurrection should transform my life. Obviously God transforms our hearts. We must be willing to surrender our lives to His will. We must acknowledge and believe that the gospel not only sets us free from sin, but sets us into a freedom that no other person or thing can deliver for us. Jesus offers us newness, but we tend to settle for the old. Even as believers, we seek to find hope and satisfaction in created things rather than the literal Life Giver, Himself. Oh that we might grasp the implications of the resurrection so that we might grow to live for more in Christ.
The resurrection also brings hope in becoming conformed to Christ’s image. God begins to break down and destroy sin in our hearts, while graciously filling those dark holes in our heart with His Spirit’s fruit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is present in those who profess Christ as Savior. Why? Because we have been given the same Spirit. God actively and presently is at work among believers. This is why we have to remember the gospel isn’t just about saving us, but redeeming our lives and shaping them into God’s image day by day, until He returns or calls us home. It is about standing firm in Christ, and savoring comfort and security in him, while this assuredly means living uncomfortable lives in this broken world. The gospel doesn’t call us to live complacent lives. So many times I do live this way and believe that new life will come in heaven, but praise God it has come now. He is making ALL things new and setting them right!
So when you think about the cross and thank God for absorbing sin, praise Him for the exchange–killing sin, and raising up life. Life cannot be found outside of this mysterious work of Christ. We have been raised with Christ, so let us fix our eyes and set our hearts on things above (Colossians 3:1).