The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead holds profound meaning for, and leaves a deep and abiding imprint on the life of a Christ-follower. In just a few days, the believing community around the world will celebrate what I hold to be the core reality of the Christian faith – the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
In writing to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul addressed the idea of a bodily resurrection to correct some there who believed and taught that there is no resurrection of the dead. In addressing the issue, Paul enumerated seven truths with which the Christ-follower must deal if there is no resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). Today, we will look at that same resurrection event, but do so from a perspective 180 degrees out from that of Paul. Whereas Paul argued from the negative (what if there is no resurrection) I will argue from the positive. Because there is a resurrection, these things are true.
Truth #1: The Resurrection is a Now Reality
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. – Colossians 3:1, NIV-1973
Paul speaks of this resurrection as a historical event. It has happened. You have been raised with Christ. It is an event that has occurred in the spiritual realm.
There are realities lived out in the unseen realm that we discount or ignore to our own peril. Paul tells us to focus not on what we see, but what we do not see, because that which is unseen is what is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
It is in this unseen realm that we have moved from death to life, being dead to sin, but alive to Christ and in Christ (Romans 6:11). It is in this unseen, but very real realm of life that we have been raised with Christ.
Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4b, ESV
Because our spiritual resurrection is a Now reality, we reckon ourselves as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11).
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:4-6, NIV-1973
Truth #2: The Resurrection Gives Us an Eternal Perspective
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:1-4, NIV-1973
It is this eternal perspective that drives everything that happens at Long-View Living Ministries. Each Christ-follower is chronically aware that we have eternity in front of us.
The world is notoriously short-sighted, and it just as notoriously self-sighted. The latter seems to feed the former, since it is difficult to take a long view on life when the scope of my worldview does not extend beyond my own personal space, and my current moment in time. Life is viewed almost entirely through the lens of my own experience, and how events and circumstances affect me right now. This is not the case with the Long-View disciple.
Truth #3: The Resurrected Life is Inexorably Linked to Christ’s Resurrection
When we are “in Christ,” or linked with Christ, or baptized into Christ and thus united with his death, a startling reality comes immediately into play. We are also united with his resurrection.
If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. – Romans 6:5, NIV-1973
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. – Romans 6:8, NIV-1973
We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus… – 2 Corinthians 4:14a, NIV-1973
Truth #4: The Resurrection Connects Us With Unimaginable Power
When we consider the power of God, we are pondering the ability to speak into existence anything and everything from nothing. Ex-nihilo. Everything out of nothing.
If that does not boggle your mind, almost dizzyingly so, then you’re not really thinking about it.
It is that power, creation power, that is the source of resurrection power. It is life into lifelessness. It is, “Lazarus, come out” John 11:43. It is, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:3. It is the daughter of Jairus, “Talitha koum” Mark 5:41.
It is power – dunamis – from which we get our word, dynamite. It is explosive, life-giving, resurrection power. I would put the same question to you, “Son/daughter of man, can your lifeless body live?”
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 1:18-20, NIV-1973
And just so we do not misunderstand, or downplay this reality, that resurrection power is aimed directly at us – the Christ-followers. Note, again, the direction of the power.
…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. – Ephesians 1:19, ESV (Emphasis mine.)
The power we possess to serve Jesus effectively comes through his resurrection. It is a power “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” Ephesians 1:20, NIV-1973.
There is a great deal going on this coming weekend, and it is not simply about Jesus leaving behind an empty tomb. It is about the profound, life-altering implications that reality holds for all who would call him “Lord” and “Christ.”
The resurrection of Jesus becomes a resurrection for me, here and now, tapping into the very power that spoke all into existence from nothing.