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Living the Resurrection

April 18 2017
April 18 2017

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This Sunday, Redeemer will embark on a new sermon series considering what the resurrection means and how it applies to our lives.

Question 45 of The Heidelberg Catechism asks, “How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?” The answer reads, “First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he might make us share in the righteousness he won for us by his death. Second, by his power we too are already now resurrected to a new life. And third, Christ’s resurrection is a guarantee of our glorious resurrection.” We are used to hearing about the overcoming of death and the certainty of our future resurrection. But the second benefit highlighted in the catechism’s answer often gets overlooked.

Jesus Shows Himself to Thomas, by Rowan and Irene LeCompte

Is it true that we are “now resurrected to a new life?” Is it possible to live the resurrection now? If we’re honest, I think few of us conceive of the Christian life this way. Yet, this idea is essential to how God wants us to view our lives. According to Paul, we have been now, already, “raised up with Christ;” therefore, we are to “walk in newness of life with him” (Rom. 6:4-11; Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1).

As I mentioned in my sermon on Easter Sunday, the full implications of the resurrection are paradigm-shifting. Christ’s resurrection demonstrates that He is victorious over the enemies of sin, death and the devil.  By walking out of the tomb, Jesus vindicated his claim that his death on the cross was full and sufficient atonement for sins. Tim Keller writes, “The resurrection was God’s way of stamping paid in full right across history so that no one could miss it.”

In addition, Christ’s resurrection is, as Paul notes, evidence of the coming future for believers. Jesus is the “firstfruits” of a glorious re-creation of the heavens and the earth (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). As Christ has been raised up so will we be raised up. Recognizing this is essential to Christianity’s hope. Our hope reaches beyond being delivered from the penalty of our sin. In the resurrection we are assured that our bodies, indeed the entire cosmos, will be renewed and made whole.

The resurrection, then, requires that we banish those faulty and stereotypical views of heaven—that we will be immaterial spirits, floating in the clouds and singing hallelujahs forevermore. No! The resurrection envisions a bodily and material everlasting renewal of all things (Rom. 8:23; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). So great is this hope we can scarcely imagine its implications. For this reason, Paul writes, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor. 2:9).

For the next seven weeks we’ll consider what this means and how it applies to our lives. Let’s not just believe in Christ’s resurrection and hope for our future resurrection, let’s get on to living our resurrection now!

The art featured in our banner for the “Living the Resurrection” sermon series is from one of six mosaic murals by artists Rowan and Irene LeCompte in the Resurrection Chapel at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. This mural, titled “Jesus Shows Himself to Thomas” depicts Jesus showing his disciple Thomas the wounds left by his crucifixion, and beautifully conveys Thomas’ wonder, astonishment and worship at encountering the risen Savior. The image is made available through “Art in the Christian Tradition,” a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library in Nashville, TN.


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