We just celebrated the reason why we gather as a church like many churches around the world. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is why we preach, why we have faith, and why we are no longer in our sins ( 1 Cor 15:12-21).
This miraculous work means that Jesus paid in full for our sin through his life, death, burial, and resurrection. This is the greatest news that we would ever hear or know. We need it all, you can not separate one part from the other! One author puts it so well, “Man’s burden of sin and shame is loosed by the cross but then consumed by the empty tomb.”
As we celebrate this great truth, what does that mean in how live today?
Understanding the Tension
There is a tension of living in a post-resurrection part of history. We have the already but not yet tension. Already the work has been done in Christ but the final blow to evil is not yet (Rev 20:7-15). God’s kingdom is already here but not yet here in its fullness.
We have Good Friday and we have the resurrection but there was still Saturday, the day in between those days. There was that tension between Savior’s death and the unknown for the disciples (though Jesus said he would rise again from the dead).
The post-resurrection Christian is like living the Saturday of events between the already but not yet. Christ rose and is alive; we now await the not yet. There is still anguish and despair in this in-between but what we await in the not yet of glories forevermore (2 Cor 4:17). We live in the tension of enduring in this world yet not being of this World.
So we await even with this tension of the already but not yet with what the author of Hebrews directs us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1-2).
The Resurrection Changes Everything
There are a few events in my life that has changed me forever. Getting married to my best friend Alyssa. Another is having three wonderful children (parenting in and of itself changes you). Being exposed to some amazing aspects of God’s creation that will stick with you forever.
But all of these still fail in comparison to how the resurrection changes everything presently and eternally.
John Calvin wrote this very powerful result of the resurrection:
He was sold, to buy us back; captive, to deliver us; condemned, to absolve us; he was made a curse for our blessing, sin offering for our righteousness; marred that we may be made fair; he died for our life, so that my him fury is made gentle, wrath appeased, darkness turned into light, fear reassured, despisal despised, debt canceled, labor lightened, sadness made merry, misfortune made fortunate, difficulty easy, disorder ordered, division united, ignominy ennobled, rebellion subjected, intimidation intimidated, ambush uncovered, assaults assailed, force forced back, combat combated, war warred against, vengeance avenged, torment tormented, damnation damned, the abyss sunk into the abyss, hell transfixed, death dead, mortality made immortal. In short, mercy has swallowed up all misery, and goodness all misfortune.
So the believer does not live to fight for victory, they fight from victory. The last few verses that are in 1 Corinthians 15 are
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:50-57
The resurrection means that the Christian has gone from death to life; from enemy of God to a child of God; from being spiritually blind to being able to see. This changes everything!