The Resurrection Business
The Resurrection Business
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” – 1 Peter 1:3-4
As I ramp up my training for the Fargo Marathon, I am getting lots of quiet time in solitude. Last week alone I spent six hours with no music, no news, no podcast, no running partner—nothing but my thoughts and the world slowly (very slowly) waking up from the dismal grasp of winter. This quiet time during the weeks leading up to Easter has left me with plenty of time to ponder the new birth I have been given in Christ as I have been anticipating the gradual, daily resurrection of the plant and insect worlds surrounding me.
In truth, most of the world lives in perpetual winter, much like CS Lewisʼs Narnia prior to the resurrection of Aslan. Seasons of life come and go, times of joy and elation, times of painless but also joyless monotony, times of grief and fear, but always, even in the best times, there is the quiet and suppressed knowledge that all is not well. Lifeʼs pleasures are merely brief escapes from the abiding fear of the unknown and the certainty of future loss and despair. The winter of death, both physical and spiritual, is inevitable and rules the ordinary life. The ordinary life is in the clutches of death. It is bound to perpetual winter unless it finds its nourishment in the life of Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:12)
Our cliches about spring representing resurrection and reminding us of the new life that is given to us in our union with Christ may indeed be overused, but they are still powerful. They remind us of the new beginning we experienced in the spring of our lives, when we were were buried with Christ in baptism so that we might be raised with him to live a new life in the spring of his Spirit (Romans 6:1-6). This new life consists of an abiding joy that is rooted in the certainty that no matter what we may suffer in the days to come, we have an inheritance that far outweighs all of our sufferings (Col. 3:24), just as we endure and even enjoy with hope the bleak days of January because of the certainly of May.
As I meditate upon the resurrection of my life by the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I long to share the hope of my inheritance with my children and with Capstone learners. A winter with no spring, an Easter with no resurrection, a life with no hope—this is the destiny and life sentence of every person who lives the fallen life apart from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am certain that I will not have much to leave my children by way of material goods. I am even more certain that my students will get nothing from me. The only inheritance I have to give is the one I have partially received from Jesus Christ and will fully receive when this life is past. Still, if all I leave to them is the faith that has given me new life, then they will have an incomprehensible inheritance “that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” Parents, this is the only inheritance that will matter to your children. Teachers, this is the only legacy you will leave that will have any lasting value to your students. Students, this is the lasting mark you must make on your friends and family. As we celebrate Easter 2023, it is my prayer that we will be overwhelmed by the power of resurrection in our lives and will renew our commitment to be in the resurrection business in our families, our school, and our community.