Looking at the "After" Life, Part 1
20Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. 1I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.—Ephesians 3:20 – 4:3
Whether it's a car restoration, house renovation, or the loss of a few pounds, the before and after picture captures the story of change. It's visual proof of the variation we can't always see in the moment as transformation is occurring. Resurrection Sunday is the spiritual game-changer. It is the only thing that makes the before and after possible. It is the catalytic, life-changing, world-altering event that forever changed human history. And in the life of the Christ-follower, that event ought to manifest itself, show up, in more and more visible ways. It is this "after" life that I want us to consider and evaluate in our own lives.
So we have to ask, if Resurrection Sunday was such a game-changer, what difference did that day actually make then? Or frankly, does it make any difference? Is there transformation as a result? Can we see growth, maybe not in a single moment, but can we point to some practical ways in which the resurrection of Christ is causing growth in our lives?
For so many, Easter is a rich week of remembrance and personal reflection, how long till we are back to the regular 'ol grind of living and trying to cope with the stuff of life." That's often the "before" life, right?
Theologically, we know Christ's resurrection is important.
- The divinity of Jesus rests on the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 1:4).
- The sovereignty of Jesus rests on the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 14:9).
- Our justification rests on the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 4:25).
- Our regeneration rests on the resurrection of Jesus (1 Peter 1:3).
- Our ultimate resurrection rests on the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 8:11).
God, in Christ, is the first and only one to get up out of the grave. The resurrection is unique. The resurrection proclaims God’s power over sin and death.
And it’s not just Christians that accept the historicity of that world-altering event. Public opinion reported in a poll that 84 percent of people who never go to church believe Jesus rose from the dead. It is a historical fact; it wasn’t done in secret. The entire city of Jerusalem and the whole Roman Empire knew about it. If CNN had been there, they would have had it live.
So what’s the point? A lot of people say, “I believe in the resurrection, I just don’t understand it.”
Why does the resurrection matter? What difference does it make in our “after” lives? Great questions. We will look at the answer in a few days. In the meantime, ask yourself what the resurrection means to you. —Joel Anderson
- What do I believe about the resurrection? Why is it important that Jesus not only died for my sins, but that He rose again?
Heavenly Father, the depth of the significance of the resurrection escapes me. I don’t know if any human is capable of understanding exactly what You sent Your Son to come and do for us. Help me to grasp how amazing Your love is for me. Forgive me for minimizing what it meant for Christ to die and rise and live again for me. Thank You, Father, for Your limitless love for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.