The resurrection of Jesus Christ is so much more than a cosy spiritual concept or the assurance of an after life. Of course the spiritual dimension is huge, and while it does guarantee both life after death and a personal resurrection; Jesus’ bodily resurrection has an equally important impact on the way we see the world and live our lives in the here and now.
1 – Jesus is Lord
Jesus’ resurrection has proved beyond any doubt that He was and is the promised Messiah, and as such is the rightful Lord of all creation Romans 1:4. Today we have governments and rulers in the world, but none of them or the systems that empower them have ownership of this earth or the people in it. The church has a responsibility to proclaim to the visible as well as the invisible powers that Jesus is Lord and they are not (Ephesians 3:10), and as such all human government will have to give an account of itself to God. Throughout history believers have abolished slavery, cared for orphans, ministered to the sick and stood up for the oppressed, because that is how Jesus’ government works and we are his ambassadors in the earth.
God’s promised new creation started when Jesus stepped out of the tomb. tweet
2 – New Creation
Because Jesus has conquered death we now know that our sins are forgiven (1 Corinthians 15:3) and therefore God’s promised new creation started when Jesus stepped out of the tomb (Revelation 3:14). Today we live in the already, but not yet of God’s new creation; death is already defeated but not yet destroyed, sins are forgiven, but our bodies and the wider creation are still waiting for deliverance (Romans 6:5). The gates of God’s kingdom are wide open to whosoever will believe, wherever and whoever they are; but for now we live in the time of first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20), the season of faith (1 Corinthians 13:8-10), because the fullness is still to come. That is why we work towards this world being shaped as much as possible to what it will be when Jesus appears; justice, equality, freedom and the prosperity of all nations should be on all of our agendas as we see the day approaching.
As Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God and the forgiveness of sins to Israel, we continue His ministry to the world. tweet
3 – We are all missionaries.
Every believer has been entrusted with the power and responsibility to announce the Lordship of Jesus to the world. As Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God and the forgiveness of sins to Israel, we continue His ministry to the world (John 20:21). We don’t have to be preachers or theologians, but we do need to be prayerful and available (1 Timothy 2:1). I think a key here is not to see our prayers and witness as a means and measure of spiritual advancement, but a response to what God has done for us. In a sense we have a debt to the world (we carry the Gospel message which is addressed to all who don’t know it) (Romans 1:4), but we know that apart from the grace of God we are unable to fulfil our mission (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Of course there is much more we could (and I probably will say :-D), but be encouraged – Jesus won! I am only too aware that we live in a world of suffering, and that we all have personal trials and pain, but none of these have the last word. Jesus, our morning star has risen (Revelation 22:16), that means the light of day has already started and that there is no evil that can stop it. Jesus is Lord!
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Go well my friends 😀