Resurrection and New Life Day 1 – What Does Resurrection Mean?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3, ESV)
“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, [I pray] that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you… and the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:18-20, ESV)
Because of Christ, we can live in the power of an endless life—His endless life! Because He lives, we will live also! (John 14:19). But what exactly does this mean? What does God’s resurrection power mean for us in the scope of eternity, and what does His resurrection power look like in our day-to-day lives?
What is resurrection?
Oxford Dictionary simply states: “the revitalization or revival of something.” Britannica Dictionary adds this reference: “the event told in the Bible in which Jesus Christ returned to life after His death.” Merriam-Webster includes a note about the Latin root, surgere, meaning “to rise,” which has led to more general use in the ideas of “resurgence” or “revival.”
Our own list of descriptors for “resurrection” might include “someone or something brought back to life, death overcome, a life restored, made new, given back.” A powerful thought I scribbled in my notes from a recent ministry message defines resurrection as “the reversal of death, rendering the power of death inoperative”!
Our God is the One who has spoken everything into existence, the One who breathes life into every living soul. Only the Lord can overcome illness, decay, and destruction, and take what is dark, abandoned, lifeless, barren, and inactive and transform it from the inside out. Only He can bring forth a pulse, warmth, light, energy … a living, breathing, moving, eating, thinking, feeling, interacting being!
The Lord alone has power over death! And yet, it was death that holy God required of His only Son to secure our salvation, our eternal life. Our Savior had to give up His life and enter death in order to rise again in triumphant power over death and its curse. I’ve heard it said that when God the Father raised Him from the dead, it was His seal of approval, His sign to us that Christ’s sacrifice was accepted on our behalf, that His work of atonement for us was finished and death had been forever conquered!
I believe Christ’s work of redemption for us was finished when He declared it finished on the cross, when the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, forever opening a way for us to enter God’s presence (John 19:30; Matthew 27:51). But I do appreciate the thought that His resurrection could be a separate seal or sign of completion, of pleasure in the heart of His Father when the work of conquering death could be fully realized!
Our standing before holy God was made right, our everlasting life with Him secured. This is the power of Christ’s endless life freely offered to us! Because He lives, we will live also … eternally! Praise God!
As staggering as these truths are, I believe we can see the Lord’s resurrection power at work in our day-to-day lives as well! There is no struggle we face, no lack we feel, no loss we’ve suffered, and no defeat we have been crippled by over which our God cannot, right here, right now, speak a new word of creation! There is no trial, no destruction, no devastation into which He cannot breathe new life, transforming us and the details of our situations from the inside out! There is a fresh pulse, the surge of His Spirit to renew, restore, replace, shed light, bring about growth, or make us or our circumstances entirely brand new! From our lowest low, the Lord can enable us to rise again!
As we anticipate a day on our calendar in which we rejoice in the glorious reality of our risen Lord this next Resurrection Sunday, and as we dig deep into the truths of our God’s resurrection power over the coming weeks…
Let’s lift our hearts in praise to God for our Savior, for His finished work in rescuing us from the penalty of sin, for His triumph in rendering death inoperative for us!
Let’s cry out to Him, acknowledging that the same mighty power of God that raised Christ from the dead is available to us right here, right now!
Let’s wait on Him to act in His time and way, to do in our lives what He alone can do. Let’s bear witness of His transforming and beautifully redemptive work in our lives again and again and again.
Let’s hunger for the fresh breath of life only He can grant, exactly when and where and how we need it most.
Let’s live in the good of the power of Christ’s endless life!