The resurrection of Jesus means that we have full assurance of life BEFORE death.
Of course we also can count on life after death - that is definitely one of the most amazing promises of scripture and not something I would in any way diminish.
But what if the resurrection is even better than that?
You see, when my alarm clock blares at me on a Monday morning and I drag myself “Walking Dead” style to the coffee maker, I don’t really find myself energized to wake up and live for the kingdom by acknowledging the fact that when I die, I will rise again.
If anything, when I see the resurrection as only applying to me post-mortem, I might as well just go back to bed and seek shelter under the sheets and just try to stay comfy until the trumpet sounds.
No, what I need to set a fire in my weary bones is not the thought of a life after death but the reality that I can have abundant, meaningful life BEFORE death - and we find that in scripture.
Romans boldly proclaims that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is burning inside of us: begging for resurrection not to be about the afterlife but to be our way of life.
Wendell Berry, one of my favorite poets ( yes - I may just be the last person alive who reads poetry for fun!), puts it like this: “Practice resurrection."
You may be saying to yourself right now that this seems like a really uplifting thought for a poem…but how do I actually do that in real life?
Every time you take something lifeless and broken and revive it, you are practicing resurrection.
Something as simple and ordinary as recycling your cardboard.
Coming alongside a couple whose marriage is on life support and speaking words of hope.
Sharing Jesus with a friend who doesn’t understand why, even though everything is fine on the surface, she just doesn’t feel alive.
We live out the message of resurrection: that dead things don’t have to stay that way and that even the bleakest of circumstances imaginable can be restored.
But maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Before we start practicing resurrection out in the world, maybe we need to look inside and see those areas inside our own souls that need CPR.
Maybe right now you feel like you’ve fallen and you’ll never be able to get back up again.
Maybe you’ve failed so catastrophically, the weight of shame is just keeping you pinned to the floor, unsure if you’ll ever get up again.
In these seasons we need to remember that the risen Jesus - “the resurrection and the life” - is the lifeblood pounding through our veins.
With the fierceness that comes with knowing that we are invincible in Christ, we need to join Micah’s battle cry:
“Do not gloat over me my enemy, for though I have fallen I will rise."
The fact is, if Jesus can rise up out of the grave, you can definitely get up off the floor.
Because by now we’ve realized the resurrection is not just our future hope - it’s the hope alive in us right here, in this very moment.
So let’s breathe resurrection into our own lives and into the world around us - starting right now.
*You can also grab your “This is my Resurrection Day” T-Shirt at the Rend Collective Store!
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