Participate in the Resurrection
We all know that Easter is not about bunny rabbits, chocolates, and hunting for Easter eggs. Although that's all fun, Easter is truly about the resurrection of Jesus after he was crucified and laid in the tomb. The Resurrection was an event that forever changed our understanding of life, showing us that Life is eternal. But resurrection is not just a one-time event. Jesus told Martha, the sister of Lazarus (whom he raised from the dead):
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11:25, 26)
And Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:
If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Chris has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries. (The Message, I Cor. 15:19-21)
Paul and the apostles raised people from the dead. And they also raised up those who, while living, were spiritually dead. They helped them see life in a meaningful way, helped them see the beautiful and loving impact of the Christ in their lives.
So this month, let's make a difference by participating in the resurrection.
Aside from to raise from the dead, resurrect means "to reanimate; to restore to life; to bring to public view that which had been forgotten or lost" (The Student's Reference Dictionary). In addition to Jesus' resurrection from the grave, one definition of resurrection is "spiritualization of thought" (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary).
So, what old beliefs do we need to get rid of so that our lives can be restored? Beliefs that say we're:
- not worthy;
- afraid of not fitting in, of flying, of getting bad grades, of yielding to temptation…;
- incapable of being loved or of loving others;
- lonely or depressed;
- ugly, too fat, too thin, too…;
- not smart enough, athletic enough…;
- not confident;
- in a hopeless situation where we feel like giving up.
Let's allow the Christ to resurrect us, spiritualize our thoughts, and restore our view of ourselves. After all, we're God's children and, therefore, know that we're:
- unlimited because, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (KJV Phil. 4:13);
- worthy because God made us worthy: “our sufficiency is of God” (II Cor. 3:5); our worth is not dependent upon others’ opinions of us;
- fearless, especially when we love, for “perfect love casteth out fear” (I John 4:18);
- capable of and worthy of love because “the Father himself loveth you” (John 16:27);
- comforted: “Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side” (Ps. 71:21);
- beautiful as we “let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us” (Ps. 90:17);
- intelligent: “I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart” (I Kings 3:12); and athletic, knowing that God gives us our athleticism: “by my God have I leaped over a wall” (II Sam 22:30); and able to do anything because “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (I Cor. 9:8);
- confident: “Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence” (The Message, I Cor.10.12);
- hopeful and expectant of good because we can “hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption” (KJV Ps. 130:7).
Let's not let any thoughts, actions, opinions, or situations get us down and bury us. Let's also refuse to bury anyone else with harmful thoughts, actions, opinions, circumstances. It's just as important to resurrect our views of others as it is to spiritualize our view of ourselves.
How can we help others feel the resurrecting power of the Christ? By doing the same thing, by:
- helping others see how they can do anything;
- making others feel important and worthy by telling them how much they matter;
- being there for those who are afraid, reminding them that fear has no power over them, that love conquers fear, that God is with them;
- emphasizing how much God loves them, how much we love them -- which makes them worthy and capable of loving;
- comforting those who are down and giving them reasons to be joyous rather than depressed;
- complimenting them rather than criticizing them -- telling them how beautiful, kind, wonderful they are;
- letting them know that their intelligence comes from God and that they have unique, God-given talents;
- building up their confidence rather than tearing them down; not making a situation worse by saying they should have done something differently; making a situation better by pointing out the lesson, the good, or not making a big deal about it;
- giving them reasons to hope, to expect good, to continue to work through challenges because challenges really make us grow; reminding them that they’re working to gain a more spiritual concept of themselves: “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13).
Let's be so aware of the Christ that we are able to resist the temptation to bury others or ourselves with false views. Let's be ready, willing, and eager to see ourselves and others through the light of the Christ, which resurrects and blesses us all.