Many Christians throughout the world have taken part in the celebration of Jesus Christ’s death and glorious resurrection this week. Historical accounts record the cruel death by crucifixion of both criminal and innocent men, but only one crucified man was ever raised from the dead, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ. The grave could not hold, nor keep, His mutilated body there as the power of God raised Him to life again, eternal life! The sacrificial death at Calvary of Jesus Christ opened heaven to all who believe on His name and enter into a relationship with Him through the gate of salvation. To walk with our Saviour on resurrection ground is our spiritual birthright.
John 3:16 eternally declares the love of the Father for His creation, mankind. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life”.
What does a walk on resurrection ground mean to each of us? There is so much more for us to embrace and enjoy in our walk with the Lord, than any of us have fully entered into. The fullness of God is not some rare, to be hoped for experience. It is offered to us, made available to us through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. It is our birthright. Why hang on to the right to ourselves, loving ourselves more than God and others, refusing to surrender to the Holy Spirit’s promptings when our birthright of resurrection ground awaits us. This is the abundant life Jesus promised us. Jesus declared in John 10:10: “……I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. Is abundant life on resurrection ground your experience? There is always so much more to discover, and embrace that we have not yet entered into. Only as we humble ourselves, walk in humility, daily dying to self, will we discover it.
Proverbs 29:18 “Without a vision the people perish”. What is your vision? What is God’s vision and purpose for each of us? It is to see the fullness of the life of His Son manifest in us more and more. This can never happen without the daily dying that the apostle Paul spoke of, (1 Corinthians 15:31). John the Baptist declared of Jesus: “He must increase, I must decrease”, John 3:30. Christ’s rule and self rule cannot co-exist in a surrendered life. The daily choices I make in any circumstance that arise, demonstrate in what measure I allow Jesus Christ to live in, and through, me.
Proverbs 18: 21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”……therefore choose life, and use your words wisely.
Death is usually thought of in a negative way. From a biblical viewpoint it can be considered very differently. Without Jesus Christ’s death, there could be no glorious resurrection and the living hope He births in us when we enter into salvation. Psalm 116:15 declares “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”. There can be many forms of death while we are still alive, before the coffin job. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, we remember that He took the sting out of death, (1 Corinthians 15:55). Are not all the following challenges a form of death: poor relationships, lack of finance, ill health, dying to self by daily choices etc.?
Consider the overview in Hebrews 9: 16 “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator”. As humans we tend to make a will whilst alive which is activated after our death. The will has no force until we die, only then can it be activated. Today we have been discussing our overcoming life in Christ, demonstrated more powerfully in our lives as we surrender to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and die daily, echoing Jesus’ words in Gethsemane, “…..nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done”, (speaking to His Father before His crucifixion.)
Revelation 12:11 supports the above, speaking of Believers overcoming the devil: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death”. There it is again, the death of the self life. Where is the power in our testimony? My vision may be to see a local community, family, work associates, friends affected by what I believe that they should come to know Jesus Christ, but if my life and testimony is ineffective, there remains plenty of opportunity to die to self. Am I still clinging to the loves of my life, my comfort zones that God wants surrendered and cleared out of His way? There are three points in the above scripture quote. The word of my testimony will be ineffective until I fulfil the third point, “loving not my life unto death”. God works with me to this one end, the death of the self life that Christ may live in His fullness in me.
Galations 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
The words to the old Irish hymn “Be Thou My Vision” reflect on the true vision we should be seeking. (Without a vision the people perish). If we make Jesus our primary vision and our heart is one with His, and the Father’s, any other vision the Holy Spirit imparts will be fufilled as we walk on resurrection ground with our Saviour leading the way.
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Is He risen in me, and you, today?
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash