Three years ago, I wrote a post called “Jesus is not risen.” It was published around the time that many Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it just happened to have been published on April 1… April Fool’s Day. However, this is not an April Fool’s post. I’ve published a few of those, but this is not one of them. Instead, this is an extremely serious post. We can say that we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ historically, but do we live in a manner that demonstrates we truly believe that Jesus was raised and is alive? It’s a question I think about often, and I invite you to think about it with me in this post.
I know what you’re thinking. Either Alan has lost his mind, or this is an April Fools Day joke. Well, I don’t think I’ve lost my mind, and this is not an April Fools Day joke.
Instead, as I’ve been thinking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, thinking how God might want to use me to encourage and teach the church, I’ve also been thinking about my own life.
Imagine for a moment that the person you cared for most in your life (maybe your spouse, or parent, or child) died. That person was dead dead… completely dead and buried. A couple of days later, that person rises from the dead. Note, this was not the result of medical intervention. The physicians gave up days ago. The mortician had already done his work. And, this dead person came back to life. What would be your response?
That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. How would I respond?
I think I would respond to this “real” resurrection differently than the way that I respond to Jesus’ resurrection. Obviously, my response does not indicate that Jesus is not risen. But, my response (or lack thereof) does indicate what I really think about Jesus’ resurrection.
To be honest, I live most of my life as if Jesus was not risen. Oh, I “know” he’s risen. And I profess that he’s risen. And I believe that he’s risen. But, for the most part, when does his resurrection actually intersect my life? At what point is my life different – day by day, priorities, choices, actions, etc.?
My words are consistent: “Jesus is risen!” But, my life is inconsistent. Sometimes my life claims, “Jesus is not risen.”
I need help. I need reminders. I need more than an annual reminder. I need encouragement and admonition to live each day as if Jesus was risen and still alive. This is one way that I hope to encourage brothers and sisters when we talk about the resurrection. I guess that’s a good thing about this time of year. We tend to focus on the resurrection, while we’re thinking about bunnies and chocolate. But, what about other times of the year? What about next Monday?
So, when we’re talking about the resurrection, I’m going to ask my brothers and sisters to remind me – daily if necessary – that Jesus is alive. I’m going to ask them to warn me when I’m living as if he’s not alive. I’m going to ask them to show me how to live as if he is risen.
Jesus is risen! But, when I live as if he’s not risen, my words mean little. I thank God that he’s surrounded me with brothers and sisters in Christ who can help me live as if he is risen. Then, not only my words, but my life will say, “Jesus is risen!”