Live & A-live
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The verse connotes three measures of time: yesterday, today and tomorrow. This verse also implies the immutability of Christ- His person, His word, His purpose, His power. Who He was is who He is and who He will always be. The same goes for every promise He ever made while here on earth. Heb.1:10-12 also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”
In this uncertain world God remains certain, sure, true. Christ’s promise of abundant life (John 10:10) still remains for those who believe in Him. He desires for us not just to live but to thrive and to live an “A-life”. Jesus came to reconcile man to God; to restore the relationship broken by the entrance of sin (John 3:14-17). With the restoration of the relationship came restoration of our position in God and a release of power so that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). In Jesus- there’s a fusion of time, release of power and the unleashing of the limitless resource of the resurrection power. He was conceived in power (the Holy Spirit), lived a life of power, died in power and resurrected in power.
God is a master planner. His promise and oath are as trustworthy as his word & covenant (Hebrews 6:16-19). One thing becomes clear from Jesus’ burial: in every crisis we need a Joseph (a man with the grace of increase) to step in and assist. Joseph of Arimathea a man of means and influence could approach the authorities and ask for Jesus’ body for burial (Luke 23:50-56) The same principle is true in the case of Israel. When God wanted to incubate a nation, His plan involved sending Joseph, the some of Jacob ahead into Egypt (Psalm 105:17-22). He too became a man on influence and means to be of great help to the Israelites in a time when they could have been wiped out by hunger. Joseph of Nazareth guided the formative years of Jesus’ character and provided natural paternal direction & protection. Before Jesus dies, he has him do a dress rehearsal with Lazarus (John 11). By resurrecting Lazarus, he presents proof of the power of resurrection already at work in the living. He is embalmed for burial by a perfume which fragrance fills the house. (John 12:1-7) Pilate writes his epitaph “this is Jesus King of the Jews” and places it on the cross but the Centurion’s confession shows that the barrier of being just for the Jews is broken. Joseph of Arimathea places Jesus’ body in a tomb hewn out of rock but Jesus is the rock. His physical body is entrusted to his spiritual person and that ensures that his time in the tomb is not death controlled but divinely orchestrated. When on the third day he arose, the stone was rolled away signifying the rolling away of all our reproach permanently, the tomb was empty, Jesus is alive!
As we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, let’s look at what it means for us. He arose. He’s alive. What next?? Acts 1:1-5 describes what Jesus did after His resurrection. “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” From this we get the following as the keys to the ‘A-life” (abundant life) in Christ:
- Stay committed to your purpose (he stayed teaching and working even after His resurrection) Like Daniel, resolve to stay stick to your purpose no matter what happens (Daniel 1:8).
- Remain in your faith & confidence. Don’t lose confidence in who God is and what He has said He will do Heb.11:1-6.
- Qualify who you give access to in life. Jesus Chose twelve, then three to whom He came intimate access to. Even in the aftermath of the resurrection he came to the disciples- life is valuable, don’t cast pearl before swine.
- Faith produces evidence. Don’t trust people who have no scars, who have not survived or struggled through anything worthwhile Acts 1: 3 scars versus stars.
- Only operate by the Holy Spirit– Gal.5:16 walk in the spirit (daily).
- Seek first the kingdom Matt. 6:33.
- Commit to attend/ assemble with others Heb.10:25 maintain habit of meeting together.
- Stay in Jerusalem, the promise. Heb.6:16-19, His promise is sure.
- Learn to wait– trust the process.
- Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
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