to the glory of God and the edification of people everywhere
The Power of His Resurrection
Lesson 7 -- second quarter 2009
April 12, 2009
by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2009
Introductory questions to chew
How have you looked for the living among the dead?
What do you remember of the Lord's words?
Do you accept the testimony of others?
Are you living the resurrected life?
Among the dead?
Would you have gone looking for Jesus in the tomb had you been one of the women then? I'm sure you would have; I'm certain I would have also. That was the natural thing to do. Sure, Jesus would have told us that we wouldn't find Him there by then, but our hearts would have been as perceptive and receptive as theirs. I don't believe we would have done better than they at remembering His words. So we would have gone to the tomb, not Jerusalem or Bethany or Olivet.
Now we know better.
So do the unsaved.
That's right! The unsaved know better than to look for Jesus among the dead. I say that because I want to ask you this: When the unsaved want to find Jesus, do they go to you or do they avoid you?
Assuming you are a Christian, how deep is your Christian faith and commitment? This will determine whether you are among the living or among the dead. If you are living, people will seek Jesus where you are. If you are dead, they will have no reason to look for Jesus there. This applies to so many specific areas of our lives; allow me to probe a little in several of those areas.
Music. The kind of music we sing or "perform" reveals to others whether our hearts have life or death in them. Most of the contemporary stuff (even in so-called Christian music) does not pass the test of life. So why should we want anything to do with it, even if the sound or lyrics might be attractive? Do the sounds coming from our vehicles and our homes tell the world, "If you're looking for Jesus, you won't find Him here. This is a tomb"? I hope not!
Pleasure. Those who thrive on pleasure have little interest in something so "drab" as serious spirituality. Those who buzz from one "fun" event to another unwittingly express the emptiness of their lives. Oh, those who live for Jesus are capable of enjoying life and many of its pleasures, but they don't need repeated "fun fixes" to keep them going. Often the fun person isn't the place where people look for Jesus, because they know He is found only among the living. And those whose lives are about fun aren't "really living" like they think they are. What role do fun and pleasure play in your life?
Attitudes. Consider your usual demeanor and disposition. Are you generally relaxed, friendly and joyful? If so, welcome to the land of the living! However, I think too many of us give little thought to the messages communicated by our countenances and our attitudes, especially in public. So check the set of your face and give heed to your words and attitudes. They reveal or conceal life; sometimes they reveal outright death. And those who might be seeking know that to find Jesus they will need to look among the living.
Submission. The living value rules, authority and submission. The dead chafe at them and find myriad ways of defying them. How do you relate to authority? Do you live right at the edges of obedience, straying over the boundaries at times? Disobedience and rebellion proclaim death; don't expect people to look for Jesus there! In addition to that, for our submission to proclaim life it must spring from a submissive heart, not from a subjugated heart. A submissive heart obeys those in authority and minds their rules because it wants to; a subjugated heart obeys only because it has to. A living heart submits for the joy and blessing of it; a subjugated heart yields because it thinks it has no other recourse.
"Can the world see Jesus when they look at your life?" Would they even consider looking there to begin with? They will, if you are among the living!
The resurrection life
His resurrection made such a difference for Jesus. Have you ever tried to imagine what some of the ramifications of His resurrection were for Him? Here you have just two of the more obvious ones: He was no longer bound to conventional means of travel, and He no longer bore the burden of His mission of redemption.
We can live our own resurrection life! Of course we still have to travel by conventional methods and enter rooms through normal means. But what should be some grander results of the resurrection life in us?
Freedom from guilt. Those who have in them the resurrection life have been set free from sin and the condemnation of it. The peace that Jesus gives is incomparable because it is a full, genuine peace born of forgiveness. This peace comes from facing our guilt and having it taken care of by Jesus.
Freedom to love. Before the resurrection life of Jesus became mine, I was my own biggest hindrance to love. The next big hindrance was the very people I was supposed to love. But when that new life came, it brought me a freedom to love by a power and a love far greater than my own. Now Jesus wants to manifest His resurrection life through me in a love for others without regard to how they are or how they treat me.
Freedom to serve. The resurrection life is a life of service. Sure, the old life was also a life of service, but now the object of our service is different. The old life concerned itself with serving self; the resurrection life primarily serves Jesus, which naturally results in serving others. Because of the resurrection life I have been set free from the task of serving myself to the blessing of serving my Lord and my neighbor.
Thoughts for the Week:
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