The resurrected Christian is a different kind of person–someone the world has never seen outside our community. The Christian is as different as darkness and light, death and life.
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For some Christians, the authentic reality of their new birth is difficult to practicalize in their day-to-day lives. The cross of Christ settled our eternal sin problem with a holy God, while the resurrection of Christ opened a new and better way for us to live with Him forever.
The cross forgave us, and the resurrection gave us an eternal and accessible relationship with the Father. The resurrection of Christ transports forgiven people into a new way of thinking and living.
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Most assuredly, all Christians will experience this new kind of resurrected life in heaven, but Jesus’ coming out of the tomb was meant to be more profound and practical for us today.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. – 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (ESV)
The resurrection provides us an unmerited way to live practically and victoriously in the here and now. The resurrection of Christ is our future hope and our present power, which is an excellent thought that I hope would compel you to ask some self-reflecting questions.
- How aware are you that the things you’re going through are designed to teach you how to rely on Him who raises the dead?
- Do you know how to leave self-reliant habits in the tomb and walk in the light of God-reliance?
We have an option to believe Christ is in the tomb and order our defeated lives accordingly, or we can live as though Christ did rise from the grave and order our lives accordingly.
- How does the resurrection make a difference in your life?
- What fears continue to lurk in your heart that the power of the resurrection has not vanquished?
To be stuck in the tomb is to be trapped in defeat. The resurrection of Christ offers something that is practically powerful to transform us from what we were to what God is calling us to be.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself. – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (ESV)
Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
The Dangers of Tomb Dwelling
A tomb dwelling Christian is an oxymoron, but more than that it negates the transformative power that is resident in us right now. Though we should be the most envied people in the world because of our relationship with the risen King, our lives can at times shrink back into the tomb, away from our inheritance. When this happens:
- Our faith becomes vain (1 Corinthians 15:14).
- We misrepresent God (1 Corinthians 15:15).
- We are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).
- People should pity us (1 Corinthians 15:19).
You define a Christian by the end of the story, not the beginning. In the beginning, everything fell apart (Genesis 3:6-7), but God made a way through His Son (John 3:16), an assured victory as the reality of God Himself.
Do you believe?
Call to Action
I live in the underworld of Christianity–that place where real people are hurting profoundly. There is no pretense or facade Christianity where I live. I’ve experienced suffering in the crucible, and I spend most of my days hanging with others in their crucible.
Conflict characterizes the Christian life. I know this intimately well, and I know that sometimes it’s all a person can do to stay out of the tomb. Stuck in a tomb is where I want to help. It is how I’ve devoted my life. If you think our ministry can serve you then go to this page and begin that process of coming out of the tomb of defeat: Ways We Can Serve You?
Meanwhile, here are a few questions for your consideration.
- What fears do you carry that have not seen the light of His glorious resurrection?
- What thoughts do you have that are tucked away in the tomb of your heart?
- Will you go to God and begin a process of bringing light to what is hidden?
- Will you find a friend and share those things?
The Christian life was never meant to be an isolated journey. When Jesus came out of the tomb, He found His friends. Go and do likewise. Build a community, even if it is in our cyber one.
Also published on Medium.