“Ah, music,” he mentioned, wiping his eyes. “A magic past all we do right here!”
I keep in mind studying that line aloud to my boys and pausing to file it away in my thoughts. We have been working by means of the primary Harry Potter ebook. Following a transferring rendition of the Hogwarts’ college music, headmaster Albus Dumbledore delivered the pregnant segue. In a narrative involving magic, and these being the phrases of the headmaster — and of a faculty of magic at that! — I puzzled if this is able to show to be no throwaway line.
From there on, such putting, fastidiously crafted statements had me considering time and again, I look ahead to re-reading this sometime. I used to be perceiving extra layers than I might take pleasure in totally on the primary learn. The creator clearly meant not solely to seize first-time readers, however to please second- and third-time readers as nicely, and maybe even extra.
The most effective of books, you understand, do that. Narnia does it. So does Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. And chief above all of them, and much past all of them, is the unique supply from which Lewis, Tolkien, and Rowling took their greatest cues, nevertheless consciously: the Christian Scriptures.
Learn, Repeat, and Savor
God himself is the grasp creator of second, third, and twentieth reads. And right here in Lent, anticipating one other Easter, we keep in mind that resurrection is likely one of the Bible’s most essential read-and-repeat themes. Whereas we style the ever-increasing delights of discovering resurrection throughout the canon all year long, a few of us cease to see and savor extra every spring. We would put together our hearts for the glories of Easter by means of the lengthy 46-day journey of Lent, or the more-pointed focus of “Holy Week.”
For hundreds of years, Christians have discovered worth in imaginatively getting into into the ready, as we do with Creation. But as Christians, we don’t grieve on Good Friday as those that don’t have any hope, or enter Lent as those that don’t but know, for sure, that the resurrection is coming. So Lent, Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, and Holy Saturday function alternatives, like re-reading different nice tales, to seek out ourselves caught up within the drama once more — to understand Jesus’s story, and Jesus himself, in new and deeper methods.
5 Risen Aftermaths
In an effort to organize our hearts forward of Easter for the riches of glory in Christ’s resurrection, we dare not restrict our celebration of the resurrection to in the future every year. Jesus is risen, and alive proper now — and every single day you’ve ever lived. And in order we observe this anticipatory season (to no matter diploma), we accomplish that as those that know, and proclaim, and revel in that he’s risen certainly.
Ponder with me, then, 5 vital aftermaths of Christ’s resurrection that are inclined to get quick shrift after we transfer to and thru Easter too shortly. Christ’s resurrection is just not the tip of the story, however his rising from the lifeless means he’s alive to be and apply different treasured realities as our residing Lord.
1. Alive to Rise
Christ’s new life from the lifeless started his rising, however was not the tip of his rising. Forty days later, on what some mark as “Ascension Day,” he rose but once more, this time ascending from earth to heaven and to heaven’s throne.
“Christ’s new life from the lifeless started his rising, however was not the tip of his rising.”
Luke-Acts and Hebrews are particularly aware of Jesus’s post-resurrection rising. Luke’s Gospel ends with Jesus being “carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:51). Acts, then, begins with “the day when he was taken up” (Acts 1:2) — that’s, “he was lifted up” (Acts 1:9). In different phrases, he rose (from the lifeless) to rise but additional (to heaven). And his ascension, then, like his resurrection, is just not the tip of the road however results in additional glories nonetheless.
2. Alive to Reign
Hebrews 1 provides us a glimpse from the opposite aspect of the ascension, because it have been — from heaven’s vantage, when God introduced his risen Son into the world above (“when he brings the firstborn into the [heavenly] world,” Hebrews 1:6; 2:5) to take his seat and be coronated on the throne. In actual fact, Hebrews 1, in all its vaulted and gloriously verbose celebration of Christ, doesn’t make specific point out of his resurrection, however assumes it as vital to Jesus being alive that he could be exalted and coronated as King.
What did he rise for? For one, to reign. He’s, at current, sovereign over the nations and the universe, and he will likely be, quickly to return, from that very same seat, the decide of the nations and all of historical past. As he introduced to his disciples earlier than ascending, by advantage of his completed work, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). Proper now, as you learn — and whether or not you mark Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, or not — the risen Christ reigns.
3. Alive to Rescue
If Jesus’s human physique had stayed lifeless — and if he didn’t ascend and doesn’t reign on heaven’s throne — then, as Paul writes, “your religion is futile and you might be nonetheless in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). However, the truth is, “Christ has been raised” (1 Corinthians 15:20), and the fact of Easter teems with a threefold rescue: the saving of our souls, the satisfying of our souls, and the eventual saving of our our bodies.
As for the rescuing of our souls, not solely did our sins require a reckoning, however we additionally wanted to have entry to Christ’s cross-work, to have it utilized to us, by means of the facility of his personal Spirit, which he pours out for us from heaven’s throne. Potential salvation doesn’t save. We want precise rescue, which comes by means of the instrument known as religion which unites us to our risen, residing Lord.
Nevertheless ample Christ’s self-sacrifice may need been to cowl our sins, we’d don’t have any entry to his rescue if he weren’t alive so we might be united to him. However he is alive. As he says, “I’m the primary and the final, and the residing one. I died, and behold I’m alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:17–18). There isn’t a nice salvation for us if we’re not united by religion to the residing one, in order that the advantages of his work are utilized to us.
4. Alive to Rejoice the Coronary heart
Jesus not solely saves our souls but additionally satisfies our souls by means of his post-resurrection life. He’s alive to know and revel in. There isn’t a closing excellent news if our Treasure and Pearl of Nice Worth is lifeless. Even when our sins might be paid for, righteousness supplied and utilized to us, and heaven secured, however Jesus have been nonetheless lifeless, there could be no nice salvation in the long run — not if our Savior and Bridegroom is lifeless. On the very middle of the Easter triumph is just not what he saves us from, however what he saves us to — higher, who he saves us to. Himself.
“There isn’t a closing excellent news if our Treasure and Pearl of Nice Worth is lifeless.”
Our stressed souls won’t discover everlasting, and ever-increasing, relaxation and pleasure in a Christ-less new earth, regardless of how beautiful. Streets of gold, reunions with family members, and sinless residing could appear to thrill us at first — however they won’t in the end fulfill, not for eternity, not on their very own. Not then, and never now. We have been made for Jesus. He’s on the middle of true life, and he will likely be perpetually. If there isn’t a residing Christ, there isn’t a closing satisfying eternity. However he’s alive certainly — to know and revel in, now and perpetually.
5. Alive to Increase Us Too
Our personal resurrection might not be within the foreground of Easter, however it’s there. Christ’s resurrection has all the pieces to do with ours, and vice versa (1 Corinthians 15:12–20).
When Christians have fun “the God who raises the lifeless” (2 Corinthians 1:9), we imply not solely that he raised Jesus, however that he’ll elevate our our bodies too. And even now, by means of religion, we understand the resurrection we ourselves have already got skilled, and revel in proper now. Already now, when God “made us alive along with Christ . . . [he] raised us up with him and seated us with him within the heavenly locations in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). If in case you have been born once more, you have already got the imperishable lifetime of Christ in you (1 Peter 1:3–4).
And the brand new life we’ve got now by the Spirit is a assure of the complete and closing resurrection of our our bodies to return. “He who raised Christ Jesus from the lifeless may also give life to your mortal our bodies by means of his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). “God raised the Lord and can additionally elevate us up by his energy” (1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:43–44). Coming quickly, “the trumpet will sound, and the lifeless will likely be raised imperishable, and we will be modified” (1 Corinthians 15:52).
Ever-deepening delights await those that re-read with care, already figuring out the end result. Nevertheless lengthy you’ve identified him, you’ve gotten far more but to know of this story, its results, and of risen one himself. Easter is one month from at this time. What for those who took the subsequent thirty days for a targeted season to glory in his life, dying, and resurrection?
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