Saturday, April 3, 2010

Resurrection Life

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~John 10.10

On this evening of Good Friday my spirit is greatly burdened: the death of a child, a diagnosis of cancer, the brutal murder of a friend all fill me with sorrow. Perhaps for this reason I cannot help but consider the tremendous lengths that Christ went to in order to grant us life in Him.

Everywhere I look in Scripture I see Christ – His presence in the garden breathing life into man; His spirit in Melchizedek, priest of Salem, or, priest of peace, blessing Abraham for believing what was revealed to him; His pre-incarnate Spirit appearing to Joshua as he prepared to go into battle. Christ, born to woman, “becomes an infant small, He becomes a man of woe” and “doth feel [our] sorrow too.” He dies the death of an outcast and criminal in order to re-infuse man with His breath of Life – to make us holy sons and daughters, inheritors of His riches, and citizens in His kingdom.

In Him we are not only resurrected spiritually – Christ bringing to life that which in us was dead because of sin --- but we have the hope of physical resurrection. Death has lost both its power and sting.

The resurrected Christ returns to Heaven and sits even now at the right hand of the Father, praying for us, but not before giving us His Spirit - “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you,” says Paul, “he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”

How easily the difficulties of life cause me to forget how great is the power of Christ in me! How much I long to let all visions of earthly sorrow and death throw the depth and meaning and glorious fact of His resurrection into high relief!

We are promised trouble in this life; indeed, we look around us and everywhere there is trouble. But the death and resurrection of Christ means that I can endure the trials of life in His strength, drawing life from His life and breath from His breath just as the unborn child receives nutrients from the life of its mother.

Not only so but the more I experience of sorrow and decay, suffering and death, the larger His life looms inside me. Though outwardly I am undergoing a process of decay; inwardly, I am undergoing a process of renewal.

"Since mine eyes have looked on Jesus,
I've lost sight of all beside,
So enchained my spirit's vision,
Gazing on the Crucified."

~Oswald Chambers

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