Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Resurrection pt.2 "a living hope"

The first post in this series on the resurrection emphasized that the resurrection of Jesus is what I like to call a "living theology". It is indeed a past event that we believe, yet it is also the impetus for Christian living. We see this clearly marked out in the book of Acts, the resurrection was the central part of early Christian proclamation. The resurrection of Jesus is the first act of "new creation" He was raised physically yet with a glorified body, a new order of things began to emerge. Yes, we still see and experience the realities of the old world, yet in the lives of Spirit filled disciples of Jesus we should be living "kingdom life", a life that is about God's new creation in Jesus the Messiah, awaiting the day God says " I am making everything new" (Revelation 21:5). The last enemy will be defeated, death itself (1 Corinthians 15:26), and the dead will be raised imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:52).
  This new life, new creation, we are living now is because Jesus has been raised. Peter writes in (1 Peter 1:3) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". So much glorious thought in one exciting statement. We are given "new birth" we become a "new creation, the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus says in (John 3:5) this happens in our baptism we are "born of water and the Spirit" into his kingdom. Baptism itself is a wonderful portrayal of the resurrection, read in (Romans 6) how we are "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". Read those words slowly and carefully and prayerfully, we are to live a new life in Jesus one that looks different from the world still held in bondage to the old order of things. And this resurrection supplies us with "living hope", Peter says. The few and scattered followers of Jesus were despondent and hopeless after witnessing his arrest and crucifixion, crucifixion was Rome's answer for "Jewish Messiahs and revolutionaries", yet something profound took place on that morning of the first day of the week to inspire them with new hope and a mission that has shaped history since.
  We posses now that "living hope" that transcends earthly things, we can have now that "new birth" in Jesus, live this resurrection life and let God's kingdom invade this world through you!

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