Living the Resurrected Life

by Alan Knox

This post is part of a Synchroblog for the month of April. The Synchroblog is called “Do You Live Under a Rock?

The purpose this synchroblog is to consider the importance of the resurrection to the church today. But, to be honest, the title of the synchroblog was a little confusing to me: “Do you live under a rock?”

So, instead of thinking about the title, I used the description as a guide:

As Christians we say we believe in the resurrection but sometimes it seems like we are living under a rock instead of living a resurrected life. As Easter approaches take some time to reflect on what it means to live out the resurrection. Does the resurrection make a difference in the here and now? Have you seen evidence of the resurrection in the land of the living? Would/Could resurrection life change anything/everything in the world/your community? What does it mean to practice resurrection?

In particular, I decided to focus on this part of the description: “Would/Could resurrection life change anything/everything in the world/your community?” Since I tend to write about the church, I want to consider community ramifications of living the resurrected life today.

To begin with I want to state without qualification: I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God; that he is completely human; that he lived, died, was buried, and actually, physically rose from the dead. For me, the resurrection is not a metaphor or a theological concept. It is a real, historical event that happened about 2000 years ago. Plus, I believe that the resurrected Jesus continues to live today through the lives of God’s children as his Spirit indwells them.

Thus the church community – that is, the inter-relational fellowship between brothers and sisters in Christ – depends directly upon living the resurrected life. Or, to put it another way, the only way that we find fellowship with one another is if the resurrected Jesus Christ lives his life through us.

Our community just finished a study of Colossians. One of things we noticed is the importance of Jesus’ resurrection and his ongoing presence to the community life of the church. For example, considers these statements that Paul makes only in the book of Colossians:

1. The presence of Christ is hope for us. (Colossians 1:27)

2. If Christ is Lord (he’s a risen Lord), then it will affect the way we life. (Colossians 2:6)

3. The fullness of deity dwells in him, and he fills us. (Colossians 2:9-10)

4. Since we are raised with Christ, we can think thoughts that come from Christ. (Colossians 3:1-2)

Throughout the book of Colossians, Paul first exhorts his readers to trust Christ (only), and then describes what a life in Christ would look like. If we take this out of order, we turn the gospel into a exhortation to try harder. However, Paul’s instructions were not “try harder,” but “trust Christ.”

This is best illustrated in the sentence that begins a long teaching section (Colossians 2:6-4:6): “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” It is only when Christ is Lord, that we have the ability to walk in him – or, to use the language of this synchroblog, we are able to live the resurrected life.

So, what is the answer to the problem of not living the resurrected life? What if our thoughts are fixed on physical, “earthly” things instead of spiritual, “heavenly” things? What if we are not “putting off” things like anger, malice, and slander, or what if we are not “putting on” thinks like kindness, humility, and meekness? What if our community is filled with division instead of peace? What if we do not care if we teach and admonish one another? What is the answer to these problems?

The answer is to turn back to the only one who can live the resurrected life through us. If these issues are showing up in our life, they are not indicators that we need to try harder. Instead, they are indicators that we are not properly submitting to our Lord.

So, the resurrected life would change everything in our community. It would change our relationships with God, with one another, and with the world around us. Our lives would make a difference – a dramatic difference – to the people around us.

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