Yesterday was Easter. I do my best to not post on the weekends, which sometimes means not having as much traffic. I especially do my best to not post on holidays. So, this post is coming out today 🙂
The issue of resurrection is an issue that we all need to wrestle with until it comes into the kishkas (note: kishkes are a stuffed sausage, but kishkas are the guts). We celebrate the resurrection of Christ, but why? I’m what you would call a “slow learner”, especially in these subjects… I’ve noticed that there is much emphasis upon Jesus’ cross, Jesus’ resurrection, and Jesus’ ascension, but I could not for the life of me figure out why there is such an emphasis on it. I mean, I get the death, taking our sin and the curse to the cross, and I get the resurrection, that Jesus was vindicated by the Father, but why the ascension?
Come to find out, when you realize the importance of the ascension, you understand the importance of the other two…
When Jesus raised to the right hand of the Father, where He is currently sitting, it opened wide the veil for us as well to enter into that Holiest Place, to sit down, resting from our own work, and to remain seated with Christ in heavenly places.
Did you catch that?
The emphasis is upon Christ, and I recognize the importance of Psalm 110:1 (if you don’t, don’t worry about it right now). Yet, what makes this statement so significant isn’t that Jesus ascended, but that it grants access for us to join Him. For those of you who don’t know, I’m usually a stickler for not putting emphasis upon ourselves. Yet, in this case, reason with me…
Jesus died upon the cross, and now we are to take up our crosses and follow Him.
Where He goes, we cannot follow, but don’t neglect the last part of the statement that we shall follow Him. (Please note that the place where Jesus was about to go was into death and resurrected out of the grave. You can’t do that on your own.)
We read in Romans 6 that just as Jesus went down into the grave, so too have we been baptized into His death, and just as the glory of God the Father raised Jesus up from the dead, so too has the same glory, the same power raised us up.
We are seated with Christ in heavenly places.
What are you saying, Tommy? Why you talkin’ so cray cray?
What I’m saying is that the significance of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus is that we now also have the opportunity to die, be raised, and ascend up unto the right hand of God, and be seated with Christ in that place. This is where the doctrines become reality. You can hold to the “doctrine” of resurrection, that Jesus rose and that we’ll raise on the last day. But, what did Jesus say to Mary? ” I am the resurrection.” Notice Jesus didn’t say, “I have the power to resurrect the dead”, but that Jesus, Himself, IS the resurrection. What that even means I can only intuit. It isn’t simply through Jesus that we have resurrection, as if it happens on the last day, but that in Christ we ARE raised with Him by the glory and power of God the Father.
We, too, have opportunity to suffer through the eternal Spirit unto death, and in that true suffering and death, find that God Himself will also raise us up, truly while we still yet are in the flesh. They who believe in the doctrine of resurrection, truly believe, will live in the resurrection. It isn’t simply that Jesus rose, and that one day we’ll also rise, but that we, right now, by the very power of God, have access to be alive in Christ. No more “die to sin”, because you already are dead. No more, “put to death the sinful nature”, because anything that is still “sinful nature” isn’t YOU sinning, but YOUR FLESH (Romans 7:17) – that is, the sin that dwells in you.
This changes everything.
There is no condemnation in Christ, because if you are “in Christ”, then you aren’t “in sin”. If you are walking “in the Spirit”, then you can’t be walking “in the flesh”. It’s that simple. When we make it difficult, it is either because our lack of faith, or because we simply aren’t preaching the Gospel.