A man named Jesus
March 25, 2005
T he vast majority of Christians, and even some non-Christians, maintain that slightly less than 2000 years ago a man by the name of Jesus — a Jewish itinerant rabbi — confirmed his own claims to be God’s unique Son by being raised from death.
This being said then, what does resurrection mean as it intersects with our own lives?
However firmly we believe in this, or whichever of several possible understandings we hold, the entire event is meaningless unless we appropriate its impact into our own spiritual transformation. In blunter terms, unless we allow ourselves to be resurrected, we are missing the point.
The resurrected human being does not compare herself with others, due to a realization that she is not judge and jury, nor does anyone other than God sit in judgment of her.
Like an athlete with a healthy view of competition, she focuses her goal on self-improvement, not superiority over others.
The resurrected human being does not coerce or cajole by forcing his faith verbally on others, but witnesses by action and active love. He realizes that loudspeaker and polemics are often counter-productive, and trusts the Holy Spirit to open his eyes to faith-sharing opportunities.
The person living in resurrection lives in hope, even when odds may seem impossible to overcome. This doesn’t mean she is a Pollyanna, believing that everything is saccharin in the face of evidence. It’s a narrow rail she walks, trusting that God is ultimately in charge, and that God intends her ultimate good.
The person living in resurrection accepts that new life is a case of constantly being reborn, realizing that he has not achieved a static state of existence, but has been set upon the path of a journey.
Honestly, how boring would it be to say that one has “arrived?”
Other understandings could be applied, but this may be enough to help us understand that the resurrection is not only something we recognize but that we internalize.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: