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The cross forgave us, and the resurrection gave us an eternal and accessible relationship with the Father. The resurrection of Christ transports forgiven people into a new way of thinking and living. Most assuredly, all Christians will experience this new kind of resurrected life in heaven, but the meaning of Jesus coming out of the tomb should be more profound and practical for us today.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
The resurrection provides us with an unmerited way to live. It practically and victoriously transforms us in the here and now. Thus, we understand the resurrection of Christ as our future hope and our present power, which is an excellent thought that I trust would compel you to ask some self-reflecting questions.
We have an option to believe Christ is in the tomb and order our defeated lives accordingly, or we can live as though Christ did rise from the grave and order our lives accordingly. How you think about this is not just your worldview, but it will set your life trajectory and determine its outcome.
To be stuck in the tomb is to be trapped in defeat. The resurrection of Christ offers something that is practically powerful to transform us from what we were to what God is calling us to be. Paul talked about this theological tenet in “new creation” terms as we move from an old way of living to a new one.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).
A tomb-dwelling Christian is an oxymoron. But more than that, it negates the transformative power that is resident in us right now. Though we should be the most envied people in the world because of our relationship with the risen King, our lives can, at times, shrink back into the tomb, away from our inheritance. There are four characteristics of the tomb-dweller.
You define a Christian by the end of the story, not the beginning. In the beginning, everything fell apart (Genesis 3:6-7), but God made a way through His Son (John 3:16). It’s an assured victory that is just as real as the reality of God Himself. Do you believe the gospel story?
I live in the underworld of Christianity—that place where real people are hurting profoundly. There is no pretense or facade of Christianity where I live. I’ve experienced suffering in the crucible, and I spend most of my days hanging there with others in their crucible.
Conflict characterizes the Christian life. I know this intimately well, and I know that sometimes it’s all a person can do to stay out of the tomb. Stuck in a rut is where I want to help folks. It is how I’ve devoted my life. If you think our ministry can serve you, let us know. Begin that process of coming out of the tomb of defeat.
The good Lord never intends for the Christian life to be an isolated journey. When Jesus came out of the tomb, He found His friends. Go and do likewise. Build a community, even if it is in our cyber one.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).