In this article we will see some powerful truths about the resurrected life. Hebrews 2:14-18 (The Voice) “Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death—the devil— 15 and destroy the fear of death that has always held people captive. 16 So notice—His concern here is not for the welfare of the heavenly messengers, but for the children of Abraham. 17He had to become as human as His sisters and brothers so that when the time came, He could become a merciful and faithful high priest of God, called to reconcile a sinful people. 18 Since He has also been tested by suffering, He can help us when we are tested.”
As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we are celebrating more than just a one-time event that occurred 2,000 years ago. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact. There are those who would try to deny it. The greatest evidence of the resurrection is the lives that have been brought out of the grave to walk in newness of life. The lives that were dead in trespasses and sin but now have eternal life. While the resurrection is the most important event in human history, it was never intended to be a one and done event.
1 Corinthians 15:17 NKJV “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” We know that we are not still in our sins and our faith is not futile because we accepted the invitation to be changed. Easter is God’s invitation to us to become an active participant in His resurrection. This is an invitation to a new and changed life. There are so the questions we must ask ourselves are:
Are we living in the power of His resurrection?
Is His resurrection on display in our lives? You may not realize it, but you are a sermon in shoes. You are the only bible some people will ever read.
Are we guilty of returning to the grave in pursuit of the things that were permanently killed in His/our death?
Are we just going through the motions of living–wrapped up in the culture around us?
There is a powerful verse that I love that tells us that we are participants in Christ death, burial and resurrection! Romans 6: 4 (NKJV) “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” You and I are called by God to live in the power of His resurrection. Our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ has placed us in Christ. If we are in Christ, we have been raised to walk in newness of life. Just like the scripture says, we also should walk in newness of life. That newness of life is a resurrected life. What does a Resurrected Life look like?
THE RESURRECTED LIFE IS…
- A LIFE OF FREEDOM
If you are a believer living in the power of the resurrection you are free. Jesus rose from the grave free!
- No chain could bind him.
- No demon could stop him.
- Death couldn’t keep him.
- The stone couldn’t keep him in the grave.
- The Roman guards couldn’t stop it.
- Satan could not keep him in the grave.
- All of hell couldn’t stop him.
When Jesus died Satan laughed and said, I have him now. He is dead and that’s it. But God the Father, God the Holy Spirit said, “No! He is coming up out of that grave, free and victorious from even death.” Because Jesus is free, we also can be free! Free from alcoholism. Free from drugs. Free from sexual immorality. Did you no you can be in bondage to grief? As believers living the resurrected life, we are not to be in bondage to anything! Not to anger, fear, worry, pornography. Because Jesus is free, we are freed.
Hebrews 2:17 (The Voice) “He had to become as human as His sisters and brothers so that when the time came, He could become a merciful and faithful high priest of God, called to reconcile a sinful people.”
Let me give you a powerful theological fact. Please grasp this today.
- Christ not only died for us; he dies as us.
If Christ died for us, then we are forgiven. But if Christ died as us, then we died with him. If we died with him, then our old selves were crucified with Christ. In this scenario, we are not only dead and forgiven, but resurrected and freed from the power of sin. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
We have been delivered from sin. Sin no longer holds dominion over us. We have been delivered from self. I have been my own worst enemy. But thank God, old Bob was crucified with Christ. The old Bob is dead. The life that I live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. We have also been delivered from Satan.
Satan will try to tell you that real life is found out in the world. He will tell you that sin will give you all the wonderful feelings and experiences that you need to enjoy life. Don’t misunderstand there is pleasure in sin for a season. But when that season ends and the consequences start rolling toward you. And problems start happening. You realize all that the world has is nothing but a grave. The enemy will tell you, that is where life is! But he is a liar.
John 8:32 KJV give us the words of Jesus “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall MAKE you free.” So, if we know the truth, why do we keep going back into the grave, and believing the lies that remain there? John 8:36 AMP “So if the Son MAKES you free, then you are UNQUESTIONABLY FREE.”
We must stop returning to the grave and learn to live a life of freedom. Why isn’t freedom instantaneous when you get saved? When you give your life to Jesus, why does there seem to be a struggle? The struggle is getting Satan’s lies out of your mind, and the truth of God’s word in. We need our mind renewed. We need to start believing the Word. You are unquestionably Free! And then,
2. A LIFE OF FAITH
I don’t care who you are, who educated you are, how much money you have or don’t have. In this life you are going to be tested. If you are a believer your faith will be tested. Has anyone had their faith tested in 2020? 2021? Hebrews 2:18 (The Voice) “Since He has also been tested by suffering, He can help us when we are tested.” The life of Jesus was not an easy life but a tested life! This scripture tells us that Jesus was tested by suffering. He was tested in many ways. He was tested by suffering. He suffered when his family thought he was crazy. He suffered in the garden, not wanting to go to the cross. He suffered all the way to Calvary. But Jesus won! Jesus passed the test. Jesus was completely obedient, and lived a life of complete victory. And this scripture tells us that Jesus the resurrected one can help us!
Your life alive in God will be tested but it will also be marked by faith. Whatever happens to you in life. I want to challenge you to apply faith to that situation. We live by faith. When we came out of the grave with Jesus, we were never promised an easy life, we were admonished to live a faith filled life. I have learned that God doesn’t answer a whine. Yeah, he hears our cry. But what he really wants is for us to trust him! He answers a prayer filled with faith! Someone needs a faith-lift today and God is about to do just that for you! Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Someone who doesn’t believe that Jesus is alive, and someone who never seeks him, they have to try to pass life’s tests all on their own. And it doesn’t take too many years of struggle to give up. Que sera sera! Whatever will be will be. They get discouraged. They get depressed. They turn to a million different things to try to make themselves feel good. They feel alone in life. Life overwhelms them and they become anxiety filled. So they escape in front of the tv or some other way.
If you are a believer and the tests of life come to you. The first faith filled thing that should pop into your mind. I believe God exists. I want to please Him with my faith. I believe He rewards those who diligently seek Him. And besides that we know the Jesus that we serve is alive. He has got my back. Yeah, I am in a test. But the word says, he can help me when I am tested. Jesus was tested by suffering. But that Jesus is alive is right here with me. I am not alone.
We live by faith. Faith says, God can turn the thing around. There is an old song that we used to sing:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know who holds the future,
Life is worth the living just because He lives!
One cannot live a life of faith if they continue going back to the grave! What is in the grave? Unbelief! I command us to get out of the grave and stay out! The grave is empty! Our life of faith is an adventure! Do we want to spend our lives in a cemetery or on an adventure?
Five-year-old Brian had a pivotal verse to recite in an Easter program: “He is not here, he is risen” (Luke 24:6). Unfortunately, he could not remember what to say, and the director had to quietly remind him of his line. He then confidently grabbed the microphone and triumphantly shouted, “He’s not here; He’s in prison!”
When you refuse to live a life of faith that is how you are acting. Like Jesus is in prison. He is not in prison, he is risen!
Let’s choose to live a life of faith! And then
3. A LIFE OF ABUNDANCE
For many, life is nothing more than the time spent between birth and death. The drudgery of existence. The boring monotony of the routine. The hope of having enough until the end. But Jesus went the distance so we could live in abundance. Jesus promised us more than just life. He promised us abundant life.
John 10:10 (NKJV) “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The word “abundantly” here means SUPERIOR life. The enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy but The Resurrected Life grants each of us the ability to have a superior life, despite facing such a wicked opponent. Are you living the abundant superior life. Some people may say,” Wait a minute, don’t I already have life? Aren’t I breathing? Isn’t my heart pumping blood? I would answer, “Yes, but…not the life Jesus is referring to.”
The life that Jesus gives is infinitely and eternally different than the life one possesses now. Maybe a little lesson in Greek vocabulary would be helpful in discerning what the significance of this life he offers is. The Greek language employed several different words to communicate concepts and thoughts that are only available in one word in English. Such is true with this concept of life. There are two words for life in Greek that I want you to see.
The first word is bios, in which the English word biology is derived. It refers to the duration of life — one’s life span, the time between one’s birth date and one’s death date; or it refers to the necessities of life — one’s food, shelter, and clothing.
The second word is zoe, in which the English words zoo and zoology are derived. It refers to life as God has it. The life that be-longs to God that becomes ours when we enter into a relationship with God.
When we were born we were given bios life, when we are born again we are given zoe life. Until we enter into a relationship with God through Jesus we may be physically alive but spiritually we are dead. Jesus goes on to quantify this life, “and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
“Have it more abundantly means “a more superior life” To be a follower of Jesus, to know who he is and what he means, is to have a superabundance of life. Let’s say, you have reserved a subcompact car like a Ford Escort to rent for a vacation. Now I have nothing against a Ford Escort. The Ford Escort gets good gas mileage. It runs fine. It will get you where you need to go.
But let’s suppose when you go to the Car Rental place and you ask for your Ford Escort they tell you that all the Ford Escorts are in service. “Would you mind an upgrade?” “Would you mind an upgrade?” you say to yourself. “Come on, get serious,” you think. You would love an upgrade. The car rental attendant says, “Well, it looks like the only car we have available is a 2021 Mustang Shelby GT 500. Would that be all right?” Of course that will be all right. Does this car get you to your destination any faster? Not if you watch the speed limit. But you get there in style. You feel better about yourself. You don’t mind a few stares and looks from people you pass on the road. When you get out at the motel you’re treated with a little more respect than you have been before when you pulled up in the Ford Escort.
What was God up to when he sent Jesus to this Earth? Upgrading life, that’s what. Through Jesus Christ he was offering to us life not just good, but better, not just full, but fuller. In what areas of our lives are we supposed to live in a SUPERIOR way?
In our walk with Christ…
Our life is superior because we walk with Jesus, we walk in a superior way than the world.
In our marriages…
Our marriages are superior when both husband and wife know Christ, because we have agape love in the house.
In our parenting…
Our parenting is superior to the parenting of those who don’t know Christ because we have His wisdom, His word to guide us.
In our finances…because My God shall supply all of your need by his riches in glory.
In every dimension we live a superior life! I am not boasting in my own self. But in the grace of Jesus!
He is alive and he makes a difference.
- A LIFE OF POWER
It was Easter Sunday, 1973. Uganda groaned under the terror of Idi Amin. Still fresh in young Pastor Kefa Sempangi’s memory was a face burned beyond recognition, the sight of soldiers cruelly beating a man, and the horrible sound of boots crushing bones—all for the crime of being a Christian.
But Easter of 1973 Pastor Sempangi bravely and openly preached on the risen Lord in his town’s football stadium to over 7,000 people. After the service, five of Idi Amin’s Secret Police followed Sempangi back to his church and closed the door behind them. Five rifles pointed at Sempangi’s face. “We are going to kill you for disobeying Amin’s orders,” said the captian.
“If you have something to say, say it before you die.” Sempangi, thinking of his beautiful wife and lovely little girl, began to shake. But the risen Lord living in his heart gave him the courage to speak. I want you to know that we have the resurrection power of Jesus on the inside. “Do what you must,” he said. “The Word of God says that in Christ I am already dead, and that my real life is hidden with Him in God. It is not my life that is in danger, but yours. I am alive in the risen Lord but you are still dead in your sins. May He spare you from eternal destruction.”
The leader looked at Sempangi for a long time. Then he lowered his gun and said, “Will you pray for us?” Sempangi did, and those five officers, were converted through the witness of Sempangi’s bravery. They also became his protectors rather than his aggressors.
The resurrected life is a life of power. Because a believer does not fear Satan who has been defeated, or even death! Hebrews 2:14-18 (The Voice) “Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death—the devil— 15 and destroy the fear of death that has always held people captive.
In His life Jesus “Destroyed the works of the devil!” But in His death, “He destroyed the devil!” The devil and everything he is capable of doing is laying on the floor of an empty tomb!He took away his keys.He bruised the serpents head. Everything Jesus did in His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension – was done for you and me. He didn’t do it for angels, but he did it for us!
We have power over our enemy. That power comes from Jesus Christ. While Jesus was 100% God, He became as human as any one of us, so that He could overcome every test we face and demonstrate the POWER of God for us! Matthew 28:18 (KJV) “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Can we agree that it is AWESOME that Jesus has “All power in Heaven and in earth”? How much power does he have? It doesn’t say, some power. It doesn’t say, a little bit of power. What does it say? “All power!” When Jesus came out of the grave, He came out with “All power!”
Wait a minute! If He came out with “All power” and we are living a Resurrected Life, how much power do we have? We have all power! oLuke 10:19 (KJV) “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Ephesians 1:19-20 “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,”
Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies [a]through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
If we can stay out of the grave and focus on living in the power of his resurrection we will experience: