The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. – Romans 8:11
If you’re a follower of Jesus you may have attended a worship service this past weekend to celebrate the resurrection. Stirring hymns, beautiful lilies, kids and adults dressed in their finest, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. What’s not to like?
But I wonder if we really understand what we just celebrated. Sure, we’re happy that Jesus isn’t dead anymore but, is that it? Is that the meaning of the resurrection? Aren’t there more implications for your life and mine? Before reading any further, take a moment to answer this question, “What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make for your life today? Not after you die, but today?” Go ahead. Give that some thought. I’ll wait…….
For many of us the answer isn’t so easy. Sure, Jesus’ resurrection promises that we, too, will rise again, that death isn’t the final chapter but a prelude to an even greater story. I hold onto that hope but the truth is I’m not planning to cash out of this life for a while and so I don’t think about death daily. Perhaps I should, but I don’t. So, is there more? Is there more to the resurrection that actually impacts today? I think so. This week I want to share one thought about the personal implications of Jesus’ resurrection, and next week I’ll share a thought about the global implications.
Jesus’ resurrection isn’t just about what God promises to do when we take our last breath; it’s about what God promises to do when we take our next breath. God is making all things new. All things. You. Me. The world. God is breathing new life each day into the “dead” places of our being – our guilt, shame, fear, failures, addictions, anger, lust, grief, broken relationships, greed, painful memories, judgments, depression, complacency, and arrogance, just to name a few. These are the dark places into which the resurrection power of God comes, setting us free with the promise of God’s restoring love and forgiveness. These are the places into which the Spirit of God whispers, “You are not alone. You are not forgotten. You are loved. You are forgiven. You are precious. You are mine.” That kind of love will compel you to live differently, today.
Jesus is not dead in the tomb. God is not locked in the temple. Instead the resurrection power of God is at loose in the world and at work in you. That’s the promise of resurrection.
I love the way that Rob Bell talks about the power of resurrection for life right here and now. Take a moment and watch this video. Let it stir you to hope, gratitude and faithful living!
Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN