The Resurrection of Jesus—-Now What Will You Do With It?

I don’t usually watch commercials on television; but during the recent Winter Olympics, I was intrigued by a Microsoft commercial. Perhaps you saw it as well. In this particular 60 second commercial, the spokesperson for Microsoft highlighted a number of different high-tech applications available to us today. The screen was filled with computer graphics, laser lights, complex mathematical formulas, and technology that looked like scenes right out of a science fiction movie. Apparently, all of these advanced “other worldly” applications are available to us today through Microsoft and are right at our fingertips. The last line in the commercial was, “Now that you have this technology, what will you do with it”?

In this Easter Season, I wonder if we find ourselves confronting the same question regarding the Resurrected Jesus Messiah? On Easter morning, as you stand and stare into an empty tomb and embrace the glory and mystery of the resurrection of the Christ who was crucified for you, what will you do with it? It is a question that cannot be ignored…we must deal with it one way or the other. As implied in the commercial mentioned earlier, advanced technology exists today, and the question is about how we will deal with it. Similarly, the resurrection of Jesus from death to life is a life-changing reality. Now how will we deal with it?

As in all other instances, when we are faced with a life-changing question, the best path forward leads us directly into God’s word. The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed it well: “This is what the LORD says, ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way lies, and walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16). The ancient path and the good way of scripture lead us to deal with Jesus’ resurrection as it pertains to our own resurrection from death to life. In I Corinthians 15, Paul describes Jesus’ resurrection as firstfruits; that is, the first to be raised by God from the dead never to die again. In this context, Jesus is the forerunner for us, the proof of our eventual resurrection to eternal life. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (20-23).

This is the Christian hope and assurance…..that we live into the reality of our own resurrection into eternal life. But, not just eternal life that begins after this earthly life is over; rather eternal life that begins here and now, and yet still awaits a bodily resurrection that leaves our tombs as empty as Jesus’. In his book, Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright speaks of this tension between life in the Kingdom here and now and the yet to come final resurrection when he says, “Our task in the present is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.”

So, we face this Easter morning and the resurrection of Jesus, and when asked, “Now what will you do with it”? We answer that we embrace it as the climax of the Incarnation–the most glorious event in the history of mankind. Because when Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), he was pointing not only to his own soon to come resurrection, but to ours as well. The anchor for our souls: “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (25, 26). The Christian Gospel–the Good News of Jesus and his resurrection—-is that all this has happened in and through Jesus, and that one day it will happen, completely and utterly, to all who believe in him. Life–new life–has come to life and is pouring out like a mighty river into the world.

That is what we do with the Resurrection of Jesus.

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