Read Mark 16:1-7
Imagine the impact on the lives of the women - everything has changed because he is risen.
Paul in the great Resurrection chapter makes this very clear: 1 Cor. 15:12-19, 20-23, 51-58
How do we live in the light of the Resurrection?
1. WITH HOPE
Can you imagine those women listening to the angels – their confusion, and fear, and then this soaring moment, when in an instant all their suffering was placed in perspective as they got a vivid, bird’s eye view of God’s redemption story – HOPE has been rekindled. Everything that the law and the prophets have spoken about is now realised in that moment.
“Jesus has forced open a door that had been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought and beaten the King of death. Everything is different because he has done so.” – C.S. Lewis
2. WITH COURAGE
“He is not here, He is risen” causes us not just to live with this sense of hope, fold our hands, and await for the full redemption. Rather, we are now called to live differently, with focus, with purpose, and with courage.
Friends, we need to get back to the essence of discipleship – what it means to live a life with the Spirit of Christ living in us – that same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in and through you.
You live now with a larger perspective and focus than the latest car or house or gadget – you live in the light of eternity.
So we can step out, not without fear, otherwise it would not be courage – but we can step out because with us is the lion of Judah – he is not a dead martyr, a wise guru who made some interesting observations, but his resurrection was the proof He gave that the Messiah had indeed come. And his people can now live with both hope and courage because of Immanuel – with us is God.
3. IN DEATH THAT LEADS TO LIFE
The Jesus of the empty tomb beckons his followers to take up their cross and follow him. Do not be surprised, the Apostle Peter writes, when trials and persecution come your way as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13
We live in the light of the resurrection – the Spirit as a deposit in our hearts pointing us to what has happened and will be happening. But we also still live in the now – with all the things we have to face as followers of Jesus. Before the empty tomb there was Gethsemane – and for the followers of Jesus we will face many seasons of that.
It is a paradoxical concept that Jesus calls us to die and in that find life. It is the essence of what discipleship is all about and so sadly lacking in our Christian understanding today.
"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." - Cost of Discipleship Bonhoeffer
Friends, the empty tomb holds a paradigm shift for us in every way. It is the hope of life, the Spirit of Christ in us – and it beckons us to come and die, so that we can find life.
4. WITH JOY AND GRATITUDE
Joy is so different to happiness. Happiness is circumstantial, when everything goes right, when everyone loves you – but it goes out the window when things go wrong. Joy, on the other hand, is something totally different.
This joy comes from knowing Christ, the Spirit in us bearing witness, it is a sustaining joy. The Bible calls it our strength.
Joy is much greater than despair – the famous quote of Corrie Ten Boom.
We have to recover who we are in Christ in order to live out of this sense of joy and gratitude. To recapture the reality of that old, old song “Because He lives I can face tomorrow” – but it goes beyond just having the ability to face tomorrow – it is living with the power of the resurrected Christ in and through us in the person of the Holy Spirit.
PRACTICAL STEPS OF LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF THE RESURRECTION
1. Make the Gospels a regular part of your Bible reading –
We are regularly encouraged to read our Bibles in order to grow as disciples. At CityLife we have a Bible reading programme you can follow to help develop this essential discipline as a follower of Jesus.
Also, read the Gospels - the centrality of our faith is around the person of Jesus Christ.
The OT – the laws, the prophets, all point to Jesus. And in the NT – the epistles all build from who Jesus is.
2. Spending time in Reflection and Prayer –
We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of prayer, how much we need to pray, why we don’t pray, etc etc. Need to consider that prayer and meditation, or reflection shapes who we are as human beings, as a discipline it becomes a major fountain that we feed from every day.
3. Allow your words and actions to reflect your paradigm –
When our words and actions in the simple everyday life do not show a spirit of humility and love as we walk in the light of the resurrection we are being deceived, and have become hypocrites. Our faith has become a source of pride – not a source of life.
To live in the light of the Resurrection means that right here, right now we are busy in issues like justice and creation care, because we are ambassadors of a living king and kingdom that has invaded our planet. We live in that light, not just waiting for a better tomorrow, but acting on what we see.
Everything has changed because of the Resurrection.
How has the resurrection changed the way you live?
How has the resurrection changed the way you look at the world?
How has the resurrection changed the way you look at the future?