RESURRECTION! What wonderful thought. That single word turns death into life, it brings light to darkness, it grasps victory from defeat and transforms despair into hope. RESURRECTION!
At the moment of Jesus’ death, his disciples, who had earlier pledged to leave their homes, their businesses, and their families to follow Jesus, now leave him… hanging on a cross. The emotional and actual darkness of Friday not only sucked the life out of Jesus, it sucked the life out of his movement, and out of his teaching. From the disciples perspective,hHis years of ministry, his miracles, his healings, his tenderness, his compassion, his vision for the earth, all died with him there on the cross.
That’s why RESURRECTION is a wonderful word. Resurrection embraces the despair and pain of the cross, but it moves us beyond the cross. It moves us beyond death. It moves us beyond sin. It moves us even beyond forgiveness. Resurrection carries us to life, to eternity, and even into the presence of God.
At the core of the kingdom of heaven, we don’t find death, even Christ’s death, but life. Acts 4:33 summarizes the apostles’ message and the resurrection is front and centre, “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus “. Again in Acts 17:18 Paul’s is described as “preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.” As citizens of the kingdom of heaven we’re called to live our lives with a resurrection perspective.
So what does it mean to live with a resurrection perspective? I love the description Matthew gives in 28:8) of the women who found the empty tomb and who spoke with the angel. They hurried away from the tomb afraid, yet filled with joy. They weren’t detached from reality. They felt fear. They felt uncertainty. But their outlook on life was not one that ended in suffering and death. They had a new outlook. A perspective that lifted their vision above their current circumstances to a glimpse of eternity: A glimpse that brought them joy.
- When you think about the Gospel message, how important is Jesus resurrection in your mind?
- Does the cross, or the empty tomb provide the greatest motivation for you in your Christian walk?
- The phrase, “Afraid, yet filled with joy.” really stuck in my mind. Can you relate it to your life in the Kingdom?