The Lord Has Risen!
The Lord Has Risen, Indeed, Alleluia!
That was the call and response heard over and over again at my church and many others around the globe this past week for Easter. In my church, our priest was pretty gung-ho about making sure that those words were as engrained in our hearts and minds as possible by the time we left services so I believe made that call and response at least 20 times in each service.
But then, these words should be shouted from the rooftops over and over, shouldn’t they? After all, we as Christians believe in a God who is not dead but is alive with us each and every day because of the joyous blessing of His rising from the dead and defeating the enemy. His death also gives us each the ability to be resurrected from our “dead”, sinful selves when we choose to walk with Him.
But I often wonder if we as Christians do a disservice to ourselves and our non-believing friends and associates when we stop with the Resurrection. We proclaim over and over that our God is alive and risen from the dead and as a result, we, too, will rise from the dead on the last day…
…but that doesn’t mean that we have already been resurrected nor does it mean that we, like Christ, only need that one miraculous act.
I know. You’re getting ready to fight me on this so let me explain a bit.
First, lets start with Jesus.
Jesus was and is God. Always was and always will be. He came to earth in the form of man, but while He experienced the struggles and pain of being man, He didn’t fail; He didn’t sin. He only needed to die and be resurrected once because He was and is perfect.
We, however are not.
While we are created in God’s image, we have been nor will we ever be perfect . Because of this, our “resurrection” needs to a continual process, not a once and done type of prospect. Sure, we will die a physical death and the resurrection from that death will only occur once, but we need to die to our mortal, sinful natures over and over and OVER again. Our lusts, our greed, our selfishness and self-absorbed lifestyle all return, they don’t suddenly get whisked away from us when we choose to follow Christ. If anything, they become more firmly entrenched as part of our personality and we have to work that much harder to die to them and be resurrected again as a more Christ-like person. It’s an ongoing process – at least it is for me. Let’s take my recent bout of self-pity as an example.
As you may have read recently, I had come to the difficult decision to move away from my lovely little apartment and make some significant life changes to put myself in a better financial position. I was not happy about this new reality and have been kicking and whining about it for several weeks now. Whining to just about anyone who would listen.
Why do I have to move?
Why can’t I make more money?
Why do I have to always be struggling?
Poor, poor, pitiful me.
Honestly, I was sick of hearing it so I can only imagine how sick of it those around me were. For any of you who have had to struggle through my temper tantrum about this, I truly apologize.
I finally realized that I had to die to the selfishness that I was feeling; to turn away from feeling sorry for myself for not being able to find the perfect, pretty little apartment I saw myself in with all of the bells and whistles I currently have – or more – allowing me to seamlessly move from one place to another, saving me money but not forcing me to make any other life adjustments.
I was clearly delusional and Sunday morning in the middle of the second service I suddenly saw just how much of a temper tantrum I had been throwing and how many of the Lords’ blessings I had been choosing to turn a blind eye to. I needed to be “resurrected” from this death spiral of self-pity and see the numerous blessings that were being put right smack-dab in front of me.
For example, about a year ago I left a much higher-paying position because of the extreme stress it caused and the health problems I developed as a result. God blessed me with a wonderful job I have a wonderful job which allows me to do work that I am good at for people who I truly enjoy and that appreciate me for what I am able to do in an organization that is nurturing, positive and relatively stress-free.
Also, because of this great job, I have the ABILITY to put a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back. I am not in danger, I am not starving and I am not living hand to mouth. I may be living squarely in the paycheck to paycheck segment of society but that can be said for many of the people I know so I can clearly not in them minority.
But let me tell you – that is certainly neither how it looked or felt these past several weeks. I felt distraught, unable to have the life that is being portrayed in all the pretty pictures on-line and in my head. I listened to the whining of others around me and absorbed their negativity into my own thoughts. I became like the Israelites, constantly being given what I asked for and then complaining it wasn’t what I wanted.
And it is for this reason that I, and I believe most likely you as well, need to be continually “resurrected”. I need to die to these little (or big) failings and come back to the Lord again and again for forgiveness, guidance and direction. Most importantly, I cannot for a minute either as though this is not the case because to do so provides all of the ammunition any non-believer would ever need to throw in my face as evidence against my loving, living God. Just because I believe in God and am saved by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, does not mean that I am on equal footing with Him. I am still living a human, mortal life and will continue to have the same issues that anyone else does. What makes life different as a Christian is that I have the ability to be raised over and over from my failures and hopefully learn how to make each fall a little smaller or each climb up from my fall a little faster.
I hope that as you read this, you have been both blessed by Jesus’ Resurrection and encouraged by the thought that we all can be resurrected from our own small deaths each and every day.
4 thoughts on “Risen….AGAIN”
You write “Jesus was and is God” seemingly forgetting that God can not die and that man can not see God and live, though many saw Christ and went on living, even some coming back from the dead.
Your title is also strange. You write Jesus is risen again. Though Jesus was only once taken out of the dead by his heavenly Father, and did not walk out of the grave by his own force.
You say “I believe in God ” but seem to have taken Jesus as your God instead the One Who had sent Jesus and had declared that man to be His only begotten son.
I do hope you once day shall come to see that Jesus is the way to God and not God himself who then would have told many lies and would have faked his death nothing proving to mankind and just making him to be a very cruel God Who lets us still suffer, though we would be so called “saved”.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am sorry that you found issue with my thoughts. Let me address them briefly.
First, I do believe that Jesus and God are one. They are part of a Trinity – 3 pieces to one whole. We are not capable of seeing the whole in our humanness, but can see God in the ways He chooses to show Himself. That can be in daily miracles, dreams, visions, or in the presence of His Son.
Second, the title isn’t referring to Jesus’ resurrection, but mine. I, as a sinful person, need to die and be resurrected from my sins on an ongoing basis. That was the point of the post…that I had done so regarding a situation that I was struggling with. It appears that perhaps you latched on to pieces of the post that bothered you rather than reading the whole to see to what I was referring. Regardless, the wonder of these things called Blogs is that we can present our thoughts and beliefs openly and agree to disagree.
I also did see the connection of your resurrection, hopefully every time being able to stand up from the sinful being into one who tries not to sin. But best would be when you to come to believe that Jesus is the sent one from God. According to Scriptures God is a Omniscient and Omnipotent Eternal Spirit, all things Jesus is not.
But as you say in Blogs we can present our thoughts and present our believes. Sharing them can help to bring people to understanding and to show the world also that people should be able to live in peace, though they may have totally different opinions. That is the richness of mankind.
I wish you all the best and the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples be with you and blesses you.