We tend to think about the resurrection as something that impacts our lives in the future. Do you understand the full impact that the resurrection of Christ has on your life now? Our new lives in Christ have already started!
rev. Joop van Schaik
Every year we celebrate Easter weekend: We remember the death of Jesus Christ on Friday, and his resurrection from the dead on Sunday. Have you ever really thought about the miracle of Christ’s resurrection? Do you understand how different our everyday lives would have looked if God did not intervene? We tend to focus on the promise of eternal life, but Jesus’s resurrection also has an impact on our lives today.
On Easter Sunday we see the true value that Jesus Christ’s resurrection has on our daily lives. This can be divided into three aspects:
1. Jesus Christ overcame death
In Genesis 2:17 God clearly tells us what will happen when man is disobedient: “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” After the fall of mankind, someone other than mankind had to bear the punishment of disobedience. Mankind is lost and cannot bear the punishment himself. This person who bears the punishment could be no one else but Jesus Christ, for He is truly God and truly man.
Jesus Christ thus came to overcome death; the second death. One does die the bodily death here on earth, but through Jesus Christ the second death has been radically changed for believers in Christ. As children of God, we already know this and that makes every moment of our lives valuable.
2. Christ guarantees the resurrection of the believer
Jesus Christ not only overcame the second death, but also the first, just in a different way. The human body dies in different ways, and so it will be until Jesus Christ comes again. The body is buried to become part of the earth again. Everyone’s bodies will be resurrected, those of the believers and those of the unbelievers.
For the unbeliever, the resurrection will only increase his punishment, because he or she will lead eternal life without God in body and soul. For the believer, the resurrection will bring total and complete glorification. That is why we say that the resurrection of Christ is a sure guarantee of our blessed resurrection.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:14 it is clearly stated that we will enter eternal glory with Christ:
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
3. Christ raises us to a new life
The promise of eternal life we have been given means that we must live in a different way. As Christians our lives should look different from the lives of the rest of mankind, who do not know God or those who do not want to know Him. We are already being resurrected to a new life while we are still here on earth because of Christ’s resurrection. In Romans 6:4 the following is proclaimed:
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
In Colossians 2:2 we are told to understand “the mystery of God, namely, Christ”. We need to focus our minds on God and not on earth. In Romans 12:2 we are encouraged with these words:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
This new life, that we have been given through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, starts now. Because of the risen and victorious Christ, God the Father leads us to look through His Holy Spirit with a new eye, to feel with a new heart, to think with a new mind, and to do everything with a new hand. Let us live this new life to the fullest, every day!