This is adapted from “Ordinary Hero: Living the cross and resurrection in everyday life” by Tim Chester
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. The power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:18-20)
Paul prays that Christians might realize the power that is ours in Christ. It’s the same power by which God raised Christ from the dead. On Easter morning, Jesus’ body lay dead and lifeless: flesh, rotting into dust. But God reached down and wrenched Jesus from the grave. God did what he did at creation: he brought life where there was no life (Romans 4:17). Death is the one force that no person can escape or overcome. But on that first Easter day, God took on death and won. He overcame the power of death. Paul talks of God’s “incomparably great power.”
Resurrection power is coursing through your veins. You’re like some spiritual superhero with untold power at your disposal. Really, you are.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” (Romans 6:6-10)
Because we’re united to Christ in his death, his death becomes our death. And that means our old self with its inbuilt bias toward sin was crucified with Christ. It’s dead. It’s gone. We’re set free from its power. And we’re united with Christ in his resurrection, his life becomes our life. We’re free to live for God. The bondage of sin is broken and we receive new life. A revolution has taken place. The old regime of Sin has been toppled. The life-giving reign of Grace has been established in its place.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5).
There’s a life which is given to us at the end of time-the new life of bodily resurrection (John 5:24-25). A rotting, decaying dead body is what sin earns. As the flesh decays and stinks, we see the “value” of sin, the reward of sin, the true nature of sin. But if a stinking, rotting body is what sin earns, a glorious resurrection body is what grace gives. But there’s also a life that is given to us now in human history when we become Christians. One moment we were spiritually dead; the next we were spiritually alive. You may not be able to pinpoint when this tool place in your experience-many people experience conversion as a gradual transition. But there was a time when your were dead, closed to God, ignorant of him, hardened against him in a rebellion. But now, if you’re a Christian, you’re alive, open to God, knowing God and known by God, soft-hearted toward him in love. We’re no longer spiritually dead. We’re alive to God.
- We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead at work in our lives. Do we honestly believe this? How would this belief impact our daily life?
- We have been liberated from the power of sin. Is there a sin or idol in our life that is so powerful that we have stopped fighting against it? Do we believe we have been set free in Jesus?
- We have the life of Jesus in us now; it is more than a future hope. Does our current life reflect the resurrection of Jesus?
- How does our resurrection with Jesus shape our everyday identity? Would you identify yourself more as a dad, mom, husband, wife, student, employee, or a son and daughter of the living God?
- What difference will the resurrection make after the Easter worship service on Sunday? How will it shape the way you live Monday-Saturday?