Sunday, April 27, 2014

So ... Jesus is risen. Now what?

The Pharisees had to be beyond ticked. Here they’d expected to be rid of Jesus, had schemed to get Him crucified—He should be gone forever. But now, with the mystery of the body’s disappearance, and some claiming to actually see Him alive, they’d never be rid of Him. Never.

Not that they believed any of this resurrection stuff. God just didn’t do that.

Did He?

What if He did? What then?

The challenge of resurrection is that it isn’t just a matter of belief—of mental assent. It becomes a brick wall, a monolith, that dominates one’s entire landscape. You can’t move it; you can only work around it. Or, you can embrace it and build your life around it.

If embraced, it demands that our entire lives be changed. Surrendered. Transformed. And this thing we call Life isn’t a tame, controllable force. Sometimes it blows through like a hurricane, and others it so quiet and slow as to be nearly invisible except over time.

It seems that whichever we’re most longing for, what we receive is the opposite.

But, back to that thing about change. Throughout the weeks before Resurrection Day, I kept hearing a repeating theme of some things needing to die so God could resurrect them. I also kept hearing about the need to let God’s resurrection life flow through us.

I look out my window at the slowly greening grass in our North Dakota spring and think how flowers are already blooming and trees leafed out in South Carolina. The temptation to compare what life looks like here to what life was there can be paralyzing.

Neither can I compare what God’s life looks like in me, to what it does in someone else’s.

I think too about the dreams that have apparently died, whether cut off by the suddenness of our move and the distance, or by the slow strangulation of stress. I know God can resurrect them, but ... will He?

Whether or not He does, I give them to Him anyway. They’re dead already—I can’t do anything with them. And I offer Him myself, because, again, I can do nothing of worth on my own.

And the blinding brightness of the Resurrection stands before me, commanding my attention, drawing me on with the promise that yes, there is more after this ... more strength, more growth, more green. More life.

But I can’t ever count on things remaining the same.

 10And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (Romans 8, NKJV)


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