Raised Like Christ

The necessity of writing this article is probably the best thing that has happened to me today. It forces me to reaffirm essentials over electives, world-shaking realities over momentary transient insignificancies. I had considered addressing thoughts relating to our retirement, but when it was brought to my attention that this was the Easter issue, retirement considerations seemed to become nothing but vapor in comparison.

The issue of the Easter issue is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not an issue just because some would make anything they did not understand an issue; it is an issue because its reality is unavoidable and its “unavoidableness” makes it significant in every consideration of life. That He arose is a reality, but that His is the picture, pattern and power of our resurrection amplifies the sphere of impact of His experience. Deny His resurrection and there is no ground left for a claim or hope for one’s own.

The issue of the reality of Christ’s resurrection is addressed in numerous ways. Science uses experiments so it will not have to experiment. The goal of science is predictability and replication. An experiment involves the unknown; the results are not useful, however, until they can be demonstrated to be consistent. When results are consistent, they are predictable.

When a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, he experiences radical transformation. This began immediately following the resurrection, when the eye-witness accounts were verified against the predictions (prophesies), and the experiences of those who accepted the truth that Christ was indeed alive again, after his horrible death, began to show some consistencies. They lost their fear of death and began to witness to others of the living Christ. The amazing thing was the power of their witness; it was as convincing as that of the apostles, themselves. For almost two thousand years this has not changed. The original eye-witness, and the on-going experience of millions of believers, many whose lives have been tested by the crucible of suffering and death, cannot be ignored.

Scripture teaches that when one believes the witness of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, comes into that one’s life. Romans 8 tells us that the presence of that Spirit in one’s life is the guarantee of his or her resurrection, and since it is by the same Spirit, it follows the same pattern, Romans 8:11.

There are things of interest in this life that momentarily may demand our attention. They may, for a very short time influence how we “feel,” but when how one feels becomes more significant than how one “is,” when the insignificant overwhelms the cataclysmic (a word that came into use in the 17th century relating to the very significant flood of Noah), life cannot be lived with wisdom.

One day when Christ returns, the great “experiment” (in the eyes of the world) will become the great demonstration; the unknown will become known. What is now the pattern will be replicated by millions who will be raised like Christ. The marvel is, the results are already predictable.