Day 8: Life
Today’s reading: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20
In American Christianity, it’s easy to speak about the resurrection with such a lack of enthusiasm because we have heard the story so many times.
If we’re not careful, we dress up in our church clothes, listen to a sermon, take family pictures, enjoy a nice meal together, then it’s back to real life. Our kids misbehave, we have deadlines at work, and the mortgage still needs to be paid.
Within a few days, the story escapes us and is replaced by life.
But remember, friends, the Man came back to life. And He came back to give us just that, life.
Jesus didn’t experience the agony of the cross, endure the darkness of the tomb, and conquer death for us to live a less-than-grand life.
He didn’t suffer so our lives could be routine.
He did it so we could live a resurrection life, today.
Life to the Fullest
As John concludes the story of Jesus’s resurrection, he writes these words:
“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” —John 20:31
This echoes the very words of Jesus:
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” —John 10:10
Jesus’s story promises a full life that is beyond our understanding. But it’s an upside-down life that can only found through death—the death of our understanding, our agenda and our will.
As the Apostle Paul writes:
“Christ’s love compels us . . . that if we live, we should no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again . . . If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” —II Corinthians 5:14–17
He Calls Us by Name
When Mary, one of Jesus’s closest followers, was at the tomb on Sunday morning, she was weeping. As she looks up, she sees a man standing there. It’s Jesus but she mistakes Him for the gardener. Even when Jesus speaks, she still doesn’t get it.
But then, He calls her by name, “Mary.”
Now, she recognizes Him.
The entirety of Jesus’s ministry had been based around relationships and now they finally understand. The beauty of the resurrection is that we truly experience the personal nature of a relationship with Jesus.
After He’s raised from the dead, He’s not teaching crowds, He’s having conversations. He meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus, cooks breakfast for the disciples while they’re fishing and joins them for meals in their homes.
For years, I was guilty of wanting God to shine a spotlight into my future. But God’s Word doesn’t promise a spotlight into our future, it gives us a lamp unto our path.
Following Jesus is a candlelight path where He invites us to enjoy the personal nature of a conversation. The God of all creation traded the richness of heaven for the poverty of a cross so that we might have the choice to live richly with Him:
“For the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” —II Corinthians 8:9
The tomb was empty so we don’t have to be.
May you live in the fullness of Christ—here as in heaven.