Imagine if the resurrection reality was not a part of the Gospel! We would suffer a massive loss of benefits, both temporal and eternal. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable…If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’” (1 Cor.15:19, 32)
I have personally experienced God’s resurrection power in my life. I went from being dead in trespasses and sins to being made alive. God raised me up to come alongside the rest of the Body of Christ, to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This was a tangible event in my life thirty-nine years ago, and yet it remains a daily source of strength by which I am able to walk out the Christian life. The “Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead” dwells in me. (Ephesians 2:1-6; Romans 8:11)
The hope of the resurrection needs to stay current in our minds. News items have a way of falling out of our view, like an email message that loses its primary position on our computer screens. Today’s headlines will become tomorrow’s archives.
Resurrection power needs an invitation to manifest. Consider those regions within us that are still in bondage, where “Lazarus like” grave-clothes are hindering our freedom. At salvation I felt totally “unwrapped” but over the past four decades I’ve been blessed to see a great increase in personal freedom, thankfully visiting many “tombs” from which Christ has called forth my true identity.
The Ezekiel-like journey to a valley of dry bones is filled with anticipation, though the journey is certainly arduous at times. But this I know: Resurrection power will come to those who know their dead bones well enough to speak to them.
Then there are those places within that have been brought to death on the cross. Where the flesh is crucified with Christ, the soil is fertile and rich for resurrection to take root and grow. “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:5-6) The most troublesome areas in life are those where we are still slaves to sin.
Hiding is at best a temporary solution; denial a surface détente. The valleys are full of sinful attitudes, errant thought patterns, uncontrolled emotions, judgments, embedded hurts… One reason why Christians don’t see more dynamic change in their lives: Everyone is afraid to go into the graveyard.
“How will I find my way? It’s all just so confusing. It doesn’t seem worth pursuing. We’ve tried before.” Understood. It’s not always easy. My suggestion is to follow the markers. Some will be easy to locate; large and ornate. Others will be close to the ground and even covered over. Be assured that when God leads you to a grave marker it’s not simply for remembrance or reflection; it’s for resurrection.
When Jesus yielded up His spirit to God, the veil of the temple was torn in two, and many graves were opened, their former occupants seen walking in Jerusalem on that very day. Death and resurrection is a match made in heaven.
Jesus continues to yield Himself to God as our High Priest and Intercessor on a daily basis today. May His resurrection power encounter your heart afresh.