Real Christianity is not easy. In fact, it’s impossible! Apart from Christ painfully crucified and alive “in me,” I have no means to put my faith in the Son of God for what he calls me to do (Gal. 2:20). But since he is crucified and alive in me, I do not nullify this grace – I live on it (vs. 21).
I joyfully and easily celebrated the fact of the Resurrection of Jesus yesterday – but that was yesterday. Today is Monday. Tomorrow is Tuesday, and so on. Here comes the real test as to the confession I made yesterday:
* Will I lay down my life today and serve my wife, my kids, my neighbor?
* Will I resort to manipulation, guilt, self-pity, and deception this week to rule others and get what I want?
* Will I pray today and ask God for the strength of Christ to live for him and not for myself (2 Cor. 5:15-21)?
* Will I know myself as “in Christ” today and not seek my self-worth and value in possessions, money, fame, and achievements?
* Will I trust in my Father’s plan to sanctify me through hardships?
Saying, “He is Risen” is not empty theologizing nor is it attending an annual pep-rally. Here is what it means to practically say, “He is Risen” – for all my days:
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God . . . Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator . . . put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. Be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:1-17)
And if this were not enough – there is more. If “He is Risen” – wives submit to your husbands, husbands love your wives, children obey your parents, employees obey your employers, employers treat your employees fairly, continue in prayer and live a wise life in a wicked world (Col. 3:18-4:5).
Saying that the tomb is empty is no empty confession. It is full of real, day-to-day application of what it means to know Christ in every arena of life. As I said, it’s much easier to say, “He Is Risen” on Easter Sunday than it is to live it. But by God’s daily grace – it is possible, and thankfully so.