Monday, April 6, 2015

Becoming Like God...In His Resurrection (1 of 3)

Yesterday, we celebrated Resurrection Sunday. I began my sermon with the following question, “Why are you here today?” My answer, for the congregation, was one of three reasons:

1) Some because they want to be.
2) Others because they have to be.
3) Others because it is tradition.

But really each of those ideas was secondary. The reason people go to church on Resurrection Sunday is because of what happened nearly 2000 years ago. A man, who claimed to be God, proved it, in part by rising from the dead.

Now, you might not believe that. Or maybe you do. But either way if you were in church on Sunday, April 5, 2015, that is why. For instance, if you don’t believe Jesus is risen, well you probably weren’t in church last week, or the week before, or last month. Yet, many who fit that description were in church yesterday whether by choice, by tradition, or even if forced. Why? Because someone asked/or made them come because of what Easter Sunday means on the calendar to Christians all around the world for nearly two millenia.

But my message on Sunday, and what I want to write about here this week, is not where you were yesterday, but where you will be 2000 years from now. It won’t be wherever you were yesterday. Or last week, last month, last year. It will not be in your hometown, nor in any town on this or any other planet – at least that currently exists (perhaps you will be on the new Earth though – see Revelation 21). No you will have died. The face you see in the mirror, the body you dress and undress daily, the joys and pains experienced in this body will have long ceased. So where will you be? Well, the choice is up to you. You won’t be dragged somewhere. You won’t be anywhere because of a tradition or based on a date on a calendar. However, where you are will depend on a choice you make in this body before you die. That choice will impact you, literally, beyond whatever our minds can fathom. So where will that be? And how do we know a choice exists?

Take a moment to read John 20.1-18. I will summarize here. According to this account, a woman went to the tomb and found the stone rolled away and the body of Jesus was gone. But He really wasn’t gone – He was back! So this woman ran to tell the disciples and two of them rushed to the grave and found out it was true. They then went back to their homes. But not Mary Magdalene. No, she waited. I love how verse 11 starts,  “But Mary”. Mary stayed...searching for Jesus. And she was rewarded.

And just like Mary was rewarded, we, too, will be rewarded, if we stop and seek after Him. And a part of that reward is a future resurrection for us. So, this week’s blog, with the truth of the Christ’s Resurrection fresh in our minds, will reveal the truth that a resurrection awaits us in our future – at least for those who choose to believe and follow after Jesus.

In the second post this week, I will provide four aspects relating the possibility of our resurrection with the certainty of Jesus’. In post three, I will provide a conclusion to this week’s blog regarding the resurrection and point to the series concluding blog which will be the final post of the week.

* This series of blogs has been adapted from Donald Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

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