resurrection

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

Photo Credit: Joseph Hooper via Freely

Related Reading

The Cross is Revelation and Salvation

The way Christ saved us from the curse of the law was “by becoming a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). So too, the way Christ freed us from the condemnation of sin and enabled us to “become the righteousness of God” was by becoming sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). Getting this point is crucial…

Joy in the Midst of Struggle

God wants you to experience his joy. But to do this, it is helpful to understand the difference between happiness that varies with external circumstances and joy which does not depend upon whether you are struggling or succeeding. In fact, the Bible promises joy in the midst of struggle. Visit the Woodland Hills Church website…

The Sine Qua Non of the Kingdom

In contrast to the habit of judgment which I challenged in the previous post, God calls his people to love the way that God loves. But what exactly does this mean? People have a lot of screwy ideas about “love” today. We use the word “love” to mean a lot of different things, from sexual…

One Hope

When Jesus was crucified by his enemies instead of conquering his enemies, the hope of Jesus’ disciples came crashing down in utter despair. They had hoped that Jesus would establish the kingdom of God in the same way that other kingdoms were established. However, the resurrection reveals that the kingdom of God is not like…

The Witness of Graffiti (Rocks Crying Out)

 Ibrahim Iujaz via Compfight On this eve of Easter, we wanted to share something that fit the mood of the time between the crucifixion and the resurrection. D.L. Mayfield wrote this striking piece on the longing for the Kingdom of God in the midst of overwhelming brokenness. We thought it was the perfect reflection for…

What the Cross Tells Us About God

Whether we’re talking about our relationship with God or with other people, the quality of the relationship can never go beyond the level of trust the relating parties have in each other’s character. We cannot be rightly related to God, therefore, except insofar as we embrace a trustworthy picture of him. To the extent that…