After celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, now what?
This is the question we must ask ourselves today, and frankly, everyday.
If we believe in the resurrection, if we believe it’s worth celebrating how then should we live our lives from here?
Perhaps you went to a Sunday service and heard the greatest story ever told- the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah- the promised Savior to not only Israel but to the entire world.
And perhaps you even believe this truth, have accepted Jesus as your Savior and are committed to His teachings. Do you wonder, what now?
I mean, we're told we were enemies of God, brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13) How amazingly wonderful to now be called a friend of God. But if we’re friends of God- what now?
Jesus promised His disciples three things - that they would be utterly and totally fearless, ridiculously happy, and in constant trouble with man.
For starters believers in Jesus must remember we are truly friends, not allies. In World War II some countries who were previously violently opposed to one another became Allies for the sake of defeating a common and hated enemy. Putting differences aside, they fought side by side in order to achieve the same common goal.
Unfortunately the Love of God has been reduced to such a state of affairs- God and man merely tolerant of each other. A sort of symbiotic relationship, so to speak. Rather a mutual peace treaty, as if the Father now simply tolerates His creation and agrees to live with us for all eternity.
We are not just friends who are in agreement to not hate one another anymore, He calls us His children- co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17) We get what He has, we possess all He died to give us. Before this statement is made in Romans, the Apostle Paul says we are no longer slaves but adopted into His family.
Ahhh!! No longer slaves...
Those three words pack a powerful message in and of themselves.
The Word says to live a life in such a manner that is worthy of the calling to which we have been called. (Eph. 4:1)
It truly is, you only need faith like a child. Since the Lord has risen from the dead and ascended into Heaven, sitting down at the right hand of the Father, we have so much available to us and so much we are called to do.
However on Monday morning, the Monday after the Resurrection celebration, if we go about our lives as business as usual, without a thought to what we just celebrated, we are missing the entire reason we were celebrating. We are meant to be totally fearless, and extraordinarily happy.
If you knew all that Jesus died for, Monday morning would look vastly different. You would be fearless- always.
You would be blissfully exuberant, in any and every circumstance.
And, yes, you'll be in near constant trouble with man because at some point, we as believers just are. It's what our Jesus did and so it is with us.
Did you know He died and rose again so that you could be totally and completely healed?
Did you know Jesus died and rose again so that you could have peace?
Did you know Messiah died and rose again so that you would be able to have total access to God, without a priest?
Did you know He died so that we could be adopted into His chosen family, (if you are not a Jew)?
Did you know that because of the death and resurrection of the Messiah, when we believe in Him we are called a royal priesthood, we have supernatural gifts, and we have a calling on our life?
Did you know that because of His resurrection you were called to be financially prosperous?
Did you know that because of this death and resurrection of Jesus you were given a supernatural mind, able to think God's thoughts and live without fear, but with total power & love?
Lastly, did you know that before any of your days came to be, each one of your days were written in a book in Heaven- as if you would receive Him and follow all He has planned for you?
Can you imagine knowing that from the time you were born there was Someone who had your whole life planned, a future that is good and filled with prosperity and joy? Think of all the heartache you and I could have forgone had we only sought our God out early on as little children in every single area of our lives!
So here's the deal, I need to wrap this story up so that you all can get to the business of living a total and completely free life. It is incredibly exciting to me to write about the resurrection and if I am not careful to stay on task, I'll end up tangenting all over the place. We're here to discuss the now what of Resurrection Sunday...
It's like this:
Jesus died, shed His blood for me, for you, for the entire world and finally- rose again on the third day. And then, (and here's the most important piece to the walking out your salvation), the Holy Spirit was given 50 days later, we call this Pentacost by the way. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is the how of living out your faith in Christ. It's the way you hear His voice & know the next 1,000 steps of the path.
Without Holy Spirit your walk with Christ is hopeless. Jesus told His disciples they'd need a Helper so He was going to send them one. The Father literally thinks of everything. He knew we'd muck it up on our own so we would need Someone holding our hand and telling us "this is the way, walk in it".
Goodness, the disciples had the living Lord walking among them and look at the shenanigans they got into.
So we have a Helper, awesome. But wait, there's more. We have His written word. Back in the day the Jews had to memorize Torah. Every word they read and remembered and worked tirelessly to apply that word to their lives. Ding ding ding! I think we just hit on the key!
Did you catch it?
The ancient believers hid God's word in their hearts and minds and worked tirelessly in order that they might not sin against their God. But we know now on this side of the Cross, all their efforts were worthless. Keeping a perfect law was impossible. But with God, all things are possible, right? We needed a Helper and a Guide, Holy Spirit is our Helper and the Word of God is our Guide. Imagine hopping into an airplane and trying switch on the gauges, confident you knew how to fly the thing because you had watched someone else do it, once...
As absurd as that would be, so it is with living out the Christian life without memorizing the whole of scripture. You cannot live the life you were meant to simply by cherry picking a verse here and there, making a precious graphic and posting it all over social media. We still must make an effort to live His ways, not our own ways. We must as our adopted family did, seek His will for our lives and obey that will, knowing that it is only for our good- not like eat your broccoli good for you- really tasty and wonderfully good.
And yet, Monday morning after celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus, many are all business, little faith. Not pouring over the Owner's manual in order to not just survive the day but thrive the day.
The now what of believing in Jesus the Messiah and participating in such an enormous celebration is you allow it to change your life. You lay down your life, your tiny little desires and live fully for Him. He has such an incredible life all planned out perfectly, don't allow yourself to be swept up in the cares of this pathetic world. Be swept up in the cares of our God, become careless in the care of God so that you will truly know how to walk out your salvation.
If you are a believer in Jesus, your life will look so vastly different from those who do not. The Word of God says as much. From the way you talk, to the way you think, to what you chose to watch, how you school your children, and even to some extent, what you eat. All of it would look markedly opposite from your neighbor- in addition, you ought to be better off. A child of a King lives better than those of a pauper. But in order to live the life of a child of the King, you can't look like and act like the peasants, you must follow the King's instructions, of which He graciously gave you in His word.
If you do not know Jesus as your Savior and yet fail to see the benefit of coming to faith in Him, I can assure you, it's likely no one has ever told about the tangible gifts on this side of Heaven. Jesus came, died, and rose again for your sins. And He came to give you a life filled with abundance, now, on this side of eternity.
Only, you must trust Him with your life.