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Resurrection Life, Right Now

Spring is the season of resurrection – as the whole world seems to come alive from its winter hibernation and burst forth with new promise. Here in Texas, the profusion of bluebonnet, Indian Paintbrush, verbena, and a host of other wildflowers is a vivid reminder – resurrection time is here!

For Christians, the word ‘resurrection’ means more than horticultural revival; it reminds us of the central event in all human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This single event turned the ‘one-way street’ leading from birth-to-death on its head, offering hope for eternal life through faith in Jesus.

To a world stuck on that dead-end road of sin, we announce this victory, and seek to persuade people to accept their Savior. Of course, we know that receiving God’s free gift of eternal life isn’t just an ‘insurance plan’ for after we die: It’s a provision of new life – victorious life, right here and now!

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ as Savior – if you have received that gift of eternal life, your new life has already begun. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5.24) Paul wrote, I
have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me
(Gal. 2.20). In Colossians 3.3 we read, You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God! Through faith in Jesus, we already have passed out of death into life…Christ lives in us…our new life has already begun!

You may reply, “Phil, it sure doesn’t feel like it!” Two reasons for that: First, you’re still stuck in this perishable body, and as it gets older, we realize how ‘temporary’ it really is (see 1 Cor. 15.50-58 and 2 Cor. 4.16-18 to get a biblical perspective on this)! Second, our adversary (the devil) doesn’t want us to claim our new life; he wants us to wallow in despair and defeat. He tells us what losers we are, hoping we’ll believe his lies and never realize that we truly are children of God (see John 1.12)!

And one more reason: The whole world is trapped in an ‘atmosphere’ of death. Satan is ‘the god of this world’ (2 Cor 4.4); the whole world is lies under his power (1 John 5.19). We see this ‘culture of death’ today – when our leaders embrace death (e.g., abortion, infanticide, euthanasia) as a solution to life’s problems. Spiritually, we see it when leaders approve immoral actions and lifestyles of which Scripture says, ‘those who practice such things are worthy of death’ (Rom. 1.32). In this world of death, we carry new life – and the message that brings new life!

Therefore, as we approach Resurrection Sunday this April 21st, and remember the eternity-changing event of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, we remind ourselves anew: We are living ‘resurrection life’ right now. Paul puts it bluntly in 2 Cor. 5.17: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Madison Avenue will try to sell you on everything from ‘diets to do’s’ with the promise of “a new you.” Don’t buy it. They’re only dressing up the old ‘dead man.’ Instead, recognize who you are ‘in Christ,’ and live out the victorious new resurrection life that is yours – right now!

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