1 Cor 15:51-52 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
“People often think that ‘resurrection’ simply means ‘life after death’ or ‘going to heaven’, but in the Jewish world of the first century it meant a new embodied life in God’s new world; a life after ‘life after death’, if you like. But the new body which will be given at the end is not identical to the previous one. In an act of new creation parallel only to the original creation itself, God will make a new type of material, no longer subject to death, out of the old one. In Jesus’ case, of course, this happened right away, without his original body decaying, so that the new body was actually the transformation of the old one. For the rest of us, whose bodies will decay, and whose bones may well be burnt, it will take a complete act of new creation. The new body – and this is the point – will belong in both the dimensions of God’s world, in both heaven and earth.” [Wright, Tom. Luke for Everyone, 300]
The bodily resurrection of Jesus gives us a preview of our own bodily resurrection on that final day. We will receive new bodies that are suitable for the presence of God in the new creation, free from decay and bondage, free from sin and death. What a hope we have! May this living hope change our entire outlook on life. May it lead us to greater generosity, hope, and love for others because our future is secure.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, what an incredible inheritance I have in the resurrection of the saints! May my present insecurities and discouragements flee in view of this living hope. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Endless Hallelujah” by Matt Redman (click here).
Luke 24:30-33 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
“Only with him at our side will our hearts burn within us (verse 32), and lead us to the point where we see him face to face.” [Wright, Tom. Luke for Everyone, 295]
The resurrected Jesus is alive and still showing up when we gather. His presence can be felt. It is recognizable. There is a kind of “heart burn” we experience when he speaks. Do we not sense him in our Bible Study? Is he not present as we worship on Sunday? Let us be the people of his presence. May those who gather with us also experience the “heart burn” of hearing Jesus speak, opening the Scriptures to us.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the presence of our risen Lord. Attune our hearts even more to the voice and presence of Jesus as we gather and seek your face. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “King Jesus” by Matt Redman (click here).
1 Cor 15:20-23 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
“Just as the ‘first fruits’ or the first taste of the ripening crop show what the rest of the harvest will be like for that crop, so Christ as the ‘first fruits’ shows what our resurrection bodies will be like when, in God’s final ‘harvest,’ he raises us from the dead and brings us into his presence.” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 615.]
As the first fruit, Jesus is the ultimate pattern breaker. He is writing a new kind of human story, one which does not end in death. If Jesus can break the pattern of death in the human story, what other patterns can he break in our lives? There is no pattern too great for Jesus to rewrite.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus has broken the pattern of Adam through the resurrection. By your Holy Spirit, break and rewrite the patterns in my life today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Old for New” by Bethel (click here).
Eph 1:19-20 his incomparably great power for us who believe… is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms
“When Jesus rose from the dead he had a new quality of life, a ‘resurrection life’ in a human body and human spirit that were perfectly suited for fellowship and obedience to God forever. In his resurrection, Jesus earned for us a new life just like his. We do not receive all of that new ‘resurrection life’ when we become Christians, for our bodies remain as they were, still subject to weakness, aging, and death. But in our spirits we are made alive with new resurrection power.” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 614.]
Through the Holy Spirit, we can experience the “resurrection life” even before we receive our resurrection bodies in the eschaton. How amazing is that? Do you feel stuck? Are you discouraged? Let the Holy Spirit lift you up from the grave. God has not left it to our own devices to muddle through this life until Jesus comes back. We are endowed with resurrection power for today.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the resurrection power in me through the Holy Spirit. Fill me once again I pray. Let me be renewed in faith, hope, and love to move forward. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Fire Fall” by Planetshakers (click here).
John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
“Hope is what you get when you suddenly realize that a different worldview is possible” [Wright, N. T.. Surprised by Hope, 75]
The resurrection of Jesus forces us to rethink what is possible in this life. It opens a world of possibility that we hadn’t considered before. That which we once thought were fixed barriers, can now be overcome. Death is no longer the end of the story. Locked doors are no longer impermeable. The resurrection can change what we ask for in prayer. It can elevate our faith to new heights. Let the Spirit fill you with living hope as you reevaluate the possible in light of the resurrection of Jesus.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, my eyes are opened to new possibilities because of the resurrection of Jesus. Break the barriers that I once thought were impossible. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let the Spirit fill you as you worship to the song “Living Hope” by Phil Wickham (click here).