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Opinion: Resurrection for the real world

 

April 12, 2020



This Resurrection Sunday, let’s focus on the physicality of Christ’s victory over death. He was really raised, it’s clear, in the same body he died in. To borrow a phrase, that’s huge.

The Gospels show him inviting people to touch him, to make sure he’s real. He eats with his disciples. He spends extended time with them, talking and teaching. He shows them the scars from the wounds he received at the cross.

Our common creed as believers says that he was crucified, dead, and buried. That’s all talking about his physical body. Then, on the third day, the same body rose again.

It wouldn’t be as big a deal if, say, the dead body of Jesus had merely dissolved away in a shimmer of light. You might then have people talk about how he was “spiritually raised” from the dead. But here’s the rub: If his body wasn’t raised, then death got what it wanted.

I can’t see your face as you’re reading this, but I’m sensing that you still aren’t getting my point. Here it is.

The fact that the physical body of Jesus overcame death means that God is not merely concerned about your spiritual well-being. It means that the redemption of Christ is intended for this physical world, and not only the realm of your inward soul. It means that “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth” is no vain prayer, but is rather the end and goal of history.

Jesus was raised in the body. This means the physical stuff matters. Sure, the eternal fate of your soul is the top priority. This doesn’t mean, however, that God’s created world of matter and “stuff” is unimportant. He called it all “good” in the beginning. It will be better when he’s done with it.

Jesus was raised in the body. This means that we should see the things we do here in the world as important. They are his, after all. He bought them.

So then, whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your strength. Whether your calling is in music, science, medicine, business management, entrepreneurship, media, government, sports, math, or parenting, serve Christ in these things.

Jesus was raised in the body. This means death is not the end for your body, either. Therefore, Scripture blares like a trumpet, turn away from your sin and seek forgiveness and new life from this same, living Christ. He stepped out of the tomb so that you could leave the deadness of your former life behind.

Finally, the Bible says the whole world was in slavery to fear of death (Hebrews 2:15) before the coming of Christ. For the believer to continue to walk in fear, after Jesus was raised in the body, is a pitiful contradiction. There’s a lot of fear in our world right now. Christians believe in the God who, in the words of the old preacher, brought about the death of death, in the death of Christ. That should mean something here and now.

Gordan Runyan is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tucumcari. Contact him at:

[email protected]

 
 

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