Daniel Harrison | Church212
This post is a sequel to a previous post, The Great Reset’s Greatest Barrier, where I discussed our hope to move toward a more just, free, and prosperous future. Despite our best efforts though, things don’t get better.
Watching the news over the years, it’s one thing after the next. One season it’s injustices, the next it’s a pandemic, and after that a war. It goes on and on and will continue to do so.
Tim Keller gives a great reason for this, 1'The greatest threat for hope isn’t the natural environment, but the evils that spring from the human heart.' Tim Keller Click To Tweet
So it’s not structural issues outside of human nature. The problem stems from within.
The point is that we will never legislate our way to a better society. We can’t just apply the scientific method and hope our problems will go away. No human effort of any kind will reset the world.
That’s why the core doctrine of Christianity is the resurrection. The resurrection is actually about resetting the world.
We don’t talk about the resurrection enough actually. Jesus’ death brings forgiveness, and that’s very important, but it’s his resurrection that gives power to our lives now (Colossians 2:12).Jesus death brings forgiveness, but his resurrection gives power. Click To Tweet
If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, there would be no experiential dimension to our Christian faith. And so it would be helpful to take Paul’s words to heart,
“I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead…” Philippians 3:10
“And experience” he said.
Rehearsing the Resurrection
There is real powerful available from the Spirit of God to people.
Some Christians may not care if the resurrection happened or not. They may feel what’s important is that we do good in the world. But Christianity isn’t a do-good club. It’s a community of people breathed on by Jesus to enjoy an interactive relationship with him so transformative that spills onto others.
After Jesus’ resurrection, he breathed on his disciples and commissioned them into the world (John 20:20). So it’s important that we believe in the resurrection, and learn how it comes to bear on our lives and others.
Sam Alberry said that,
“Many Christians while believing in the resurrection and rehearsing that belief every Easter Sunday, then effectively stick it back in the drawer for the rest of the year, because they are at a loss to know what to do with it.“ Sam Albury 2
But we want to rehearse it all year. That’s why at our church we are currently walking through an annual theme for 2021 called, “As It Is In Heaven.” There is real life now accessible to those who learn to rely on Jesus.
Here are three benefits of the resurrection and what it means for eternity and now.
1. The resurrection secures hope for the future.
The resurrection gives us a future hope. Not just earthly speaking, but heavenly speaking.
The Biblical narrative is that humans aren’t the only ones crying out for redemption. Romans tells us that the world has also been subjected to futility and in bondage to decay. It too, is crying out for redemption (Romans 8:20-21).
Thankfully, the end of the story is a great reset.
“But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13 NLT
Notice the verse above says God is making “a world.”
In the afterlife, we will not be spiritual beings mysteriously floating around in the cosmos. Like Jesus, will too will have resurrected bodies with new properties and powers. As Christian author John Hick says, in heaven we will enjoy the, “limitless creativity of the universe.”
Secular hope is all about life now but ends in eternal oblivion. Biblical hope is hope for an eternal joy no eye has seen, ear has heard, or heart has imagined (1 Corinthians 2:9).
History ascending or descending?
There’s a new idea about history that every new generation is going to have more prosperity than the generation before it. And that’s where we get the term progressive. It’s the idea of history progressing to a better future through ascending stages.
But ancient cultures never believed in a progressive pattern of history. They also never experienced that. They either believed in a cyclical pattern of history or a descending pattern.
The cyclical pattern was good ages followed by bad ages, which we do see in the Bible. The descending pattern began with a great golden age, and then moved to a silver age, and so on to mining the moon.
It has only been in the last 100 years that people are saying that history is now ascending, that every new age is an unbroken series of better ages.
Many politicians today use the phrase, “we’re on the right side of history,” to promote this progressive idea. But as mentioned in The Great Reset’s Greatest Barrier, this isn’t the case.
Christianity does not teach that every new age will have more prosperity than the one before it. Christianity teaches there is an end of all the ages, and that age is better than the ones that precede it.
That will be a day where God will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4).
2. The resurrection brings future hope to the present.
Not only does the resurrection secure a future hope, it also brings that future hope to the present.
This is what’s beautiful about resurrection life. Eternal life isn’t just for later, but for now.
That’s why we’ve been saying all year there is life, vitality, and renewal, within the Kingdom of God under the reign of Jesus. If Jesus rules from everlasting to everlasting, then he brings future life to the present.
The writer of Hebrews says this very simply,
We have tasted “the powers of the age to come…” Hebrews 6:5 ESV
Jesus brings future life to the present. You can taste and experience it. What exactly does that look like?
Well, the answer is certainly multifaceted, and that’s why we have a faith community, so we can grow in Christlikeness and be who he has designed us to be.
See how we do that at our church.
3. The resurrection defangs and destroys death.
So Jesus defangs and destroys death. First, let’s talk about destroys.
When you die, your body goes to an intermediate state either to Hades or Paradise.
There, all humanity waits for two resurrections. Those who believe in Jesus bodily resurrect to life. Jesus says the Father has prepared a place with many rooms on that “new world.”
But those who reject Jesus and the free gift of salvation will resurrect to eternal judgment (John 5:29). Wether that’s eternal conscious torment, or the complete annihilation of your soul, however you interpret it, Hell is real.
My brother, who is a full time missionary in Thailand, offers some thoughts on hell with his friend John. You can watch the video here: What Is HELL!?
There was a woman who once asked to have one word written on her tombstone. And that word is still there to this day. That word is,
This is equally good news as it is terrifying. It’s good news for those who receive Jesus, because he will end death on their behalf. Although humans die physically, they never truly die, but live forever (John 11:26).
Jesus has authority over death and he will put an end to it.
“He will swallow up death forever!… In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God! We trusted in him, and he saved us! … ” Isaiah 25:8-9 NLT
That will be you if you confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). There will be no more tears, no more death, and no more pain for you. You will be the one in the verse declaring Jesus as your God because he saved you.
The Bible says that literally no unclean thing will ever enter heaven again (Revelation 21:27).
D.L. Moody once said,
“Some day you will read in the papers, ‘D. L. Moody of East Northfield is dead.’ Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal — a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body. I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever. 3
Jesus defangs death.
Defangs is the temporary death Satan always tries to bring in your life. It’s the feeling of death. Whether you struggle with anxiety, fear, addiction, or whatever, Jesus carries these burdens for you.
At our church on Easter we sang the song, Forever by Kari Job. There’s a particular line that sings,
“Oh death where is your sting? The resurrected King has rendered you defeated.”
You can literally take that phrase “oh death” and replace it with something you deal with.
You can say, “oh anxiety, where is your sting? My resurrected King has rendered you defeated!” Or, “Oh depression where is your sting? My resurrected King has rendered you defeated!”
Or, loneliness, fear, or whatever… you fill in the blank! Jesus will not only destroy death on your account someday, but he will also defang it’s power now.
I encourage you to listen to our band sing the song here.
Comment below: What is an area of your life you hope to experience resurrection life in?