April 21, 2019
Only With Jesus Christ
It has been weeks now since we have begun our Lenten meditations. There is a danger we now face. It is greater than the danger of failing to thoroughly examine each area of our lives. What is this danger?
It's the danger of attempting to change our lives apart from the resurrection reality of Easter.
The church has always confessed this simple "mystery of faith": Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Before Paul calls us to put off particular sins and put on specific Christian virtues, he shows us a life-changing, motivation-shaping reality. Colossians 3:1-4 declares that in Christ, we have died. That, in Jesus, we are risen spiritually and will later be raised bodily. That, in God's Son, his coming again will be a completion of what he's begun to do within us and through us.
It is a spiritual disaster to try to be morally pure and virtuous apart from Jesus Christ. We will only become proud, disillusioned, or defeated. But it is a glorious thing to be in Jesus Christ; to have our new lives hidden in his resurrection life; to sense that our motivation and energy for spiritual renewal and Christlike virtue are flowing from the place where the resurrected Christ himself is─ seated at the right hand of God!
This Easter, celebrate Jesus' triumph over sin, death, and hell in his resurrection. But celebrate also the resurrection power that is transforming you from one degree of glory to the next, as you put on the risen Christ and put off the dead attitudes, words, and actions − things that have no home in your raised-with-Christ life.
Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus' perfect life and death, and his glorious resurrection. Make a sign of resurrection glory out of my simple life of faith and obedience. For Jesus' sake. Amen.