Resurrection is not a nuance of the Christian faith. Resurrection is not limited to some historical event. Resurrection is the ultimate promise of what we believe as Christians and it is an experience that all Christians will enjoy. Resurrection is, in all actuality, a Person. This Person is the Son of God who is the Savior of all who believe. Resurrection is Jesus Christ and He is the One who speaks to you today. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the hinge upon which the story of our redemption swings wide open for us. If you are His, then hear Him tell you of your victory and accept His dare to believe Him to the fullest. Hear Him remind you that He is here. Hear His majestic voice speaking with full authority over all that comes against you. Hear Him make again that grand promise from 2,000 years ago,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26
Yes, today I do believe it, because everyday I should believe it. Some days I simply must believe it because it is both my anchor and my mainsail. As Easter finds us this week, think deeply on what you are to do with Resurrection. Believe it…but don’t believe it and fail to live it.
Resurrection is not only the answer to life after death. It is the answer of life while alive. It is certainly a doctrine which we should understand with our minds, but it is also a power that must occupy our hearts. It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ which distinguishes Christianity from all world religions. In fact, resurrection is the lone component that forbids that Christianity ever be viewed as just a religion. Our Savior is alive. He has been for the 2,000 years since His physical death. Every world religion has a human founder or leader. They are all dead. They have stayed dead since they became dead. But not Jesus Christ. Jesus emerged victorious from death and, in effect, said, “What else ya got?” to Satan.
Because physical death is the great equalizer within the human experience, all of us have considered it at some point. We all know that we are going to die at some point. Much of what is marketed to us in America is designed to provoke this awareness in our hearts. We are offered innumerable products and services to help us extend this life on earth. While there is certainly nothing wrong with desiring to live a long, enriching life, the reality remains that we are all going to keep that appointment with death some day. Yet, to this very thought, Jesus’ resurrection interrupts us and declares, “Not so fast.” He unapologetically declares in the verses above from John 11 that the ones who believe in Him are also the ones who are alive in Him. Those who live and believe in Him, according to Jesus, will never actually die. Here, the Master distinguishes between a physical death and a comprehensive death. While it is true that we all will experience physical death (Hebrews 9:27), Jesus does not allow us to define true death by the ceasing of our physical lives. He defines the life within us as something that cannot and will not be extinguished if we are those who have His own life within us. The anthem of Christianity is that all of us live as long as Jesus is alive.
And He is alive forevermore.
Because the Son of God has defeated our greatest and most powerful foe, death, we come to believe that He can bring resurrection life out of every lesser opposing situation that we face. We are always looking for life to come from death. Relationships die. Jesus can bring those relationships back from the dead. Parts of our bodies cease to function as they were designed. When this happens, some of our ability dies. Jesus can heal those body parts and resurrect those lost abilities from the grave. Opportunities die and we often believe that we are prisoners of those open doors which have closed. Jesus then raises new and different opportunities for us and we begin to live again, moving through the doors He opens for us. Circumstances often look like they will destroy and bury us, yet Jesus’ resurrection compels us to look for a way of escape from life’s impossibilities. We know what it means to rise from the ashes that sometimes characterize our lives. We must expect Him to bring something living out of the constant context of the multiple mini-deaths that we experience during the course of our lives.
You see, it is because of the reality of resurrection that we Christians refuse to give up. We Christians rightfully expect to overcome. We believe God designs victory for us so, in each and every battle, we are confident that these is something to arise which imparts a further measure of resurrection experience to us. In every death-like situation we encounter, there is something for God to raise. Thoughts such as these are the practical, every day ramifications of what it means to have the resurrection power of Jesus at work within us. Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, for sure! But live it out also! It is limitlessly more than a doctrine or slice of theology. Resurrection is the context in which the Christian life is lived. Even when it comes time for people to gather around our own body in a casket, we will be elsewhere. We will be high above. We will be shrouded in an appointed glory in the ultimate locale of triumph. We will be with the Living One. In that moment, we will have never been more alive…even as those who gather to remember us are grieving that we are dead. As they mourn our death, we will actually be existing in the fullest reality of being alive that we have ever known.
What a glorious paradox is the resurrection life we have in Jesus! We will stumble. We will struggle. at times, we may succumb.
But we will NEVER die.
Chew on that for today and enjoy the taste!