Saturday, 11 April 2009

Risen With Him

RISEN WITH HIM

“If you then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.” - Col. 3:1

      Soon the whole Western world will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. Such a celebration will call for inspiring music, altars decked with lilies, and sermons from pulpits proclaiming the victory of life over death. The pageantry of Easter attracts millions to their respective churches. Unfortunately, a day or two later, all will be more or less forgotten by most in their renewed pursuit of the various needs, wants, and ambitions of this present life.

      Nevertheless, to every true believer, the death and resurrection of our Lord is a very fundamental truth, for it holds a promise of eternal life. “As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Christ’s resurrection is therefore the guarantee of our resurrection. The Apostle Paul, in this connection, prayed that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened in order that we might understand and appreciate the superlative height and glory to which we are called, a call to glory, honor and immortality (Romans 2:7).

      The resurrection of our Lord, then, is significant to us, for it is a reminder of the glorious hope, based on precious promises, of one day living and reigning with the Lord in His Kingdom and being with Him for all eternity. This should stimulate us to set our affections on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. It should cause us to focus our eyes of faith steadily on this lovely vision, being the  goal of our lives, despite the afflictions, setbacks, disappointments, and losses, which befall all the children of God.

      What does it mean to be “risen with Christ?”  This means that we are now dead to self, and are alive as new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). We are walking in a newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Col. 1:12, 13 tell us, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.”

      This,  then,  is the Easter message to us who are  following  in the footsteps of our beloved Master.  Remembering  His  resurrection increases our faith and brightens our hope, and thus the things of this earth become dim in our sight and unattractive to us. Thus inspired, we seek first and foremost the Kingdom of God and its righteousness. We redeem the time that God has allocated us and remind ourselves of the Apostle Peter’s words, “What manner of  persons ought you to be in all conduct and godliness?” (2 Pet. 3:11), seeing that we are risen with Christ and are seeking to lay up all our treasures in heaven and are no longer concerned for the things of this earth.  

      Let us also remember that one of the first instructions that the angel gave the women who had come to the tomb was to go and tell others the Good News that He was no longer dead, but risen (Matthew 28:7). What a great and wonderful message it was for them to share this “good news” with the others.

      The Risen Lord tells His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). This command is still in effect today and thus it is still appropriate for us to carry this wondrous message near and far. The joy, which the knowledge of the Risen Lord brings to our hearts, will be greatly increased if we share these glad tidings with others. Yes, our Master is still saying to His disciples, you and me, “Go…and tell.”  Are we doing this for Him? If we have been slack in sharing the Good News, why not make a fresh start, beginning with this Easter Sunday? There could be no better time.
                                                                                           G. Boccaccio
So Send I You
“…As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you.” - John 20:21

                        So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
                        O’er wand’ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
                        To beat the burdens of a world so weary,
                        So send I you to know My love alone.
                          So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
                        To eyes made blind because they will not see,
                        To spend, though it be blood, to spend and spare not
                        So send I you ~ to taste of Calvary.
                                                                            E. Margaret Clarkson

From
Christian Millennial Fellowship's
New Creation Magazine
A Herald of Christ's Kingdom