The Hope of the Cross & Resurrection
In a real sense, God has already “raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms” (Eph 2:6). And while “we do not see everything subject to [us],” the truth of the matter is that, in Christ, we have already been restored to our rightful place as co-rulers with Christ.
In the same sense, we have already been made “holy” and “blameless” and have been “blessed … with every spiritual blessing” (Eph 1:3-4) because of the death and resurrection of Christ.
This is also true of the whole creation as God’s redemptive work in creation is waiting to line up with the redemptive work God has already completed. The whole “creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” so that all things can be “brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:19, 21). But the children are children already. We simply are waiting for the day when all that was made true when Christ died and rose will be perfectly manifested.
John makes the same point. Because of the cross-resurrection event, we can affirm “what great love the Father has lavished on us” when he made us “children of God.” And however much we may yet think, feel, and behave in ways that are contrary to the true nature of a child of God, John reminds us that the Father calls us children because “that is what we are!” regardless of how we may now appear (1 John 3:1). He then goes on to say that “what we will be has not yet been made known” Our feeble and fallen imaginations cannot even conceive of what “we will be.” But John proclaims the glory of the assurance we receive from the cross-resurrection event when he continues, “But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him” and “we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
While our present sin-struggling condition may conceal more than it reveals of the truth of who we are in Christ, we must fix the “eyes of [our] heart” (Eph 1:18) on the truth that we will someday look like him, for we shall be like him. He is our life already, but our old self with its habituated fallen thoughts, feelings, and actions conceals the truth, to one degree or another. If we fix our eyes on him, however, we can trust that we will continue to grow in our capacity to manifest our Christ life, and trust that someday we will be exactly like him.
During this holy week, fix your eyes on Jesus and the truth of what the cross-resurrection event has already made true, even though it has not been fully realized.
—Adapted from Benefit of the Doubt, pages 248-249