I think it’s interesting how often I hear people (myself included) praying, “Thank You, Jesus, for dying for my sin. Thank You for your sacrifice,” and how little I hear, “Jesus, thank You for raising to life! You are alive!”
Or, how often we say in community to one another, “Your sin is paid for; you are forgiven,” rather than “Your sin is paid in full because He rose! Because He’s alive, you live forgiven!”
And even in evangelism, “Jesus loves you and He died for your sins so you might be forgiven,” not “Jesus loves you and He died for your sins and rose from the grave so you might have life in Him.”
I see a shame-driven obsession in the American Church with sin. It burdens me!
Romans 5:5 and 1 Peter 1 so clearly say our hope is in God and the future glory of Christ’s return, making all things new. Real, eternal hope is in Jesus – not a new schedule, better savings, more vacation time, or even our performance of nonstop repentance. I’m usually tempted to believe, “If xyz (school, work, relationships) were different, I’d be different.” It’s just not true. A better schedule might help, so might incorporating more spiritual disciplines in my community, but neither are my living hope. Jesus Christ, our Resurrected King; He only is our living hope both now and forevermore.
Let me step back and say I have a lot to learn about the resurrection and future glory part of the gospel, too. I spend way too much time meditating my sin, focusing on Good Friday, and not enough time delighting in and imagining the resurrection and return of Christ. I want to learn more about what it looks like to live day to day in light of His resurrection and return. I’m pretty sure it would change everything.
I’m still trying to figure out why it’s plausible to me to spend 40 days of fasting for Lent – mourning/repenting of our sin… thinking about Jesus’ death, and yet for some reason it’s incomprehensible to spend the next 50 days after Lent feasting for Pentecost – celebrating His resurrection and setting my hope fully on His return. Anyone else? What’s up with that?
I’m curious, what do you think feasting on and celebrating the good news of the resurrection of Jesus looks like? How might we begin to ponder or live in light of His return as faith communities?