He is risen. He is risen indeed.
The life of Jesus can be summed up in one word: unprecedented. From miraculous arrival to miraculous return, Jesus’ life fulfilled the promise given in Genesis 3:15. Virgin birth. Sinless life. Excruciating death. That wasn’t the end for Immanuel. The grave could not hold him. On the third day, the One who was sent to take on the wages of sin was no longer in the grave. By overcoming death, Jesus ensured that all who would follow after Him would be liberated of their bondage to sin and have eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 6:23).
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11. In verse 10, Paul gets to the meat of what Jesus’ death and resurrection from the grave bring to those who have received salvation through placing their faith in Christ Jesus. Paul writes that to follow Jesus is to live with him, whether we are awake or asleep. Whether on this side of eternity or our time here on earth has expired, Jesus provides life to those who have proclaimed Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Following Jesus requires us to live differently than before we knew Him as the provider of life. Here are three ways that Christians must live because Jesus is no longer in the tomb:
Live on Mission:
Jesus’ resurrection means that we don’t worship a dead historical figure, but rather we serve a King who is alive! He is alive, and those who proclaim to follow Him have a message to deliver to the world. From east to west and north to south, the gospel must be proclaimed. People cannot experience true life if they’ve never heard the good news that someone has interceded on their behalf and that their sin can be forgiven. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives the charge to His disciples. He told them to Go. Make Disciples. Baptize them. Teach them. I’m with you until the end. This was the expectation for those who’d experienced the joy of walking with Jesus, the anguish of His death, and the victory declared through His resurrection. This directive from over 2000 years ago is as true today as it was then. We are called to live like those who have a message to tell others. Our desire to tell others about how Jesus changed the trajectory of our lives on this earth and for all of eternity to come should be something we cannot contain. Brothers and sisters, if you believe that Jesus was born to a virgin, lived a perfect life, died on a cross for the sins of others, and was resurrected from the dead, you’ve got a story to tell! Now GO and tell someone.
Live with Hope:
Often, when someone uses the word hope, you could easily replace it with wish or desire. For example, a kid might hope that their friend will come to their birthday party, or an adult might hope to get a promotion in the next year. In both of these examples, the person is unsure if either of these desires will come to fruition, and their hope is founded on uncertainty. Hope, for a Christian, is not wishing upon a star for something to come true but rather placing our full faith in the promises of God, given to us through God’s Word—the Bible. In 1 Thes. 4:13, Paul reminds the brothers and sisters in Thessalonica that they are to live differently from those who “have no hope.” God said he would redeem His creation in Gen. 3:15, and He fulfilled this promise through Jesus—the final Adam. The story doesn’t end there. Just as the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, so too will they be fulfilled through His miraculous return that has been promised to those who place their faith in Him. For followers of Jesus, our hope is founded on the promise that there will be a day when we live and worship eternally with God. If we truly believe this, then our hope in what is to come will change the way that we live each day.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.—Romans 15:13 (ESV)
Live with Peace:
Hurting people, hurt people. Many of us know this all too well. Whether it was emotional, physical, psychological, or spiritual hurt, the scars are real, and they all tell their story. For those who remain dead in their sin, they can’t think about being at peace with someone who has hurt them; instead, vengeance or distance might be some possible responses to being hurt. On the other hand, Christians are called to live at peace with all, as far as it depends on them (Romans 12:18). Paul reminds us that not all relationships will be mutually reconciled, but followers of Jesus are expected to address areas of hurt in their own lives, to live at peace with all. This peace is only possible because the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 was fulfilled through a man named Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The Prince of Peace knows your situation and cares for you. If you’d like assistance with seeking peace with others, please feel free to contact the church office or seek Christ-centered counseling through this link.