April 4, 2015

The Resurrection Means I Will Not Die But Live! (`Easter)

Easter is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from physical death. This gives us the hope that when we die, our soul and spirit will live on in a different dimension and in a new Resurrection or spiritual body. The Readings assigned for Easter remind us of the Isaiah (25.7) Prophecy and Psalm 118.17 that God promised to intervene in His Story and create a way to save us from the fear and shame of physical death. The Gospel Reading describes the first human encounter with the Risen Jesus and the Acts Reading reminds us that those who believe in Jesus Christ will also experience this new form of life.

1. “He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all people (Is. 25.7)
This is a profound Prophecy about the human condition. We all die. This raises the question of what happens when we die? We all fear death, particularly as we get older and experience the loss of people we love.
·         Fear of death decreases the joy of our life, sucks life out
·         Good news is fear of death drives people to seek answers
·         People reflect on the meaning and purpose of life
·         People search for God – and find God all around them
·         Hebrew people had a particularly long and well developed relationship with God – clearly defined Covenants
·         Hebrew People had many revelations of what God was like  
·         Experience of God significantly different from other religions
·         Jews and Christians believe their experience of God is unique and authentic – Jesus warned about false prophets
·         Good News is that God did intervene in His Story and create a way for us to continue our spiritual life in a Resurrection body

2. Why did Jesus have to die?
This is one of the questions discussed on an Alpha Course. We tend to forget that God is holy – so holy that anything unholy would burn up in His presence. This is why human rebellion and sin is so serious.
·         Rebellion against God’s clear Commandments is sin
·         Sin pollutes soul, makes us unholy, separates us from God
·         Penalty for sin is spiritual death – the shedding of blood
·         Animal sacrifices were not sufficient, animals unholy
·         Needed a holy human sacrifice - without blemish, perfect
·         God overcame this by coming Himself in human form as Jesus to be that perfect unblemished sacrifice for all human sins
·         God decreed that anyone who repents a sin, “believes in Jesus” as their Saviour and asks for specific forgiveness will be forgiven
·         We do pay at least part of the penalty when we humble ourselves, die to our pride and love of the sin and ask Jesus to take our sin guilt to the Cross – emotional and spiritual death

 3. What is Resurrection life like?
Gospel Reading (John 20.1-18) is the first encounter with Jesus in His Resurrection body. We can suspect that something supernatural was going on because the “strips of linen” and cloth that had covered his face were still in the tomb and in place. This is evidence that his physical body had changed. If He had simply come to life and sat up he would have either been wearing the grave cloths or have taken them off and put them aside. Without healing his body would not be able to stand as his knees would be out of joint from crucifixion.
·         Biblical accounts suggest Jesus Resurrection body could be either material or        immaterial – going through locked doors
·         Mary was told not to ‘hold him’ – end of physical life
·         Jesus was changed from having a physical body with a soul and spirit; to a spiritual being with a different kind of body
·         After my daughter Mary died I saw her standing a few feet away in the kitchen with a body apparently made up of light
·         If the purpose of life is to love God and enjoy God forever this means we too must have some form of supernatural spiritual body – able to praise God and enjoy His presence – forever!

4. The good news is we shall live and not die!
Physical death is not the end of our life. It is the end of our physical life on Earth – and the continuation of our personal spiritual life in another dimension
·         Our emotional life
·         Our prayer life
·         Our life in Christ
·         Our life in the Holy Spirit

We are all ‘going spiritual’ as we grow and mature in our spiritual life in our physical bodies on Earth - in preparation for our new supernatural life as a soul and spirit with a resurrection body.

No comments:

Post a Comment