Kingdom Principle: Hope floats; therefore the dead shall rise.
|Isaiah 65:17-25||Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24||Acts 10:34-43||Luke 24:1-12|
It is made clear to us when things are not going the way we expected, that we are simply not in control of a situation as we had hoped. This illusion of control has been the theme of lent. God’s gift of the wilderness keeps our eyes on him and our hope resting in His provision and protection. Jesus was led into the wilderness for 40 days and then he was lead back out by the Spirit of God. Jesus was not in control and had no need for it… For many the joy of our lives is based on controlling our fears so that we remain strong. However true joy is rooted in the heart and experienced only in the state of ecstasy when you have let go of all need of control. This is because joy can be directly affect by others around you – and if you are attempting to control them – you are not experiencing Joy. Lent is about releasing control and realizing our fears so that in our weakness, God will be strong. All too often we know one thing and still do another. We become paralyzed by fear and it freezes us into a state of immobility. This is what I am calling “dead wait”. The dead (as opposed to living in Christ) are constantly waiting for something better, while the living (those who have died in Christ) have found that there is nothing better than life in Christ. It is for this reason that those living in Christ – are dead to all other things. There remains no longer any “attraction to” or “fear from” the things of this world. (Romans 6:8-11)
We are using “dead” in two very distinct ways. It is a paradox of the Kingdom; there are many, but the paradox of death is that in order for Jesus to conquer death, he had to first die. It was only through dying that Jesus could remove the devil’s power over death. (Hebrews 2:9, 14-15) Again, Christ was triumphant on the Cross (Col. 2:15) overcoming the last enemy – which is death (1 Cor. 15:23-26) which then made life and immortality possible for all humanity. (2 Tim. 1:9-10) Hence, the dead shall rise. Yet this immortality did not remove suffering, rather in brought purpose and promotion through suffering that we might share in the sufferings of Christ. (Romans 8:17-18) To see and understand what I have just written one must be some kind of prophet. In fact you must actually have had your eyes open by the living God. This then makes you a witness to the world who remains in darkness and blinded by the enemy. (2 Cor. 4:4)
What then shall we share about Hope? It is in the name of Hope that the cross is connected to and actually precedes the birth narrative of Christmas. Hope is based on the promises of God and anchored in the soul. Upon what do you anchor your soul if it not be hope? All too often that answer is found by those inside the walls of the church, in living UNDER, OVER, FOR or FROM God… meaning we put our hope in our control, rather than in God’s promise of peace. The souls of humanity which are been redeemed, have died and are now living unto Christ. They have denied themselves, taken up their cross and are following Jesus. (Matt. 16:24-25)
Peter in Acts speaks of themselves as witnesses to the resurrection. We now have become the very resurrection to those who have not seen. The resurrection of Christ took place at a moment in time, but the transformation is eternal. The lives are of the witnesses are changed (Isaiah 65 points out 8 changes) and Paul could not stress it enough… for the old is gone and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:14-15, Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9-11). As stated in the post the first Sunday of Advent which precedes Christmas, “God does not avoid the sinner or condemn the lost, rather he sends his servants with a message of Hope.”
Therefore – this Easter – we are to be the resurrection. In order to rise – we must have died. In order to have died, we must have surrendered. In order to surrendered we must have a hope beyond this world, it is hope, beyond all hope to which we put our faith and trust. And by the grace of God we rise. For the living, we are no longer waiting for anything. Another paradox of the Kingdom is the already not yet – experience of being with Jesus. While there is so much more to come in the return of Christ, yet we already have in fullness all that Jesus brings.
So again, this Resurrection Sunday – You are called to be the resurrection! Boast by the Name of Christ that your life has been redeemed. If you have nothing to boast about, or you fear you have not been redeemed – the come to the cross of Christ so that you can – Forget what is behind and press on to what is ahead… Boast in the hardships, the struggles, the mistakes that been have made, for it is there that redemption shines so glorious. Rejoice, Rejoice and again I say Rejoice.