Why don’t we see resurrection today?
I don’t mean bodies of people actually coming forth from the grave. That is the physical resurrection which will happen at the future resurrection of all people. We shouldn’t expect to see that sort of resurrection today.
What I means is, “Why don’t we see lives of Christ-followers being radically transformed and changed into new creations?” Why don’t we see the “resurrection life”?
The Resurrection Life
It seems almost expected today that when a person believes in Jesus, not much will change. Oh, they might start going to church, and maybe reading their Bible and praying, and if they are really zealous, they will talk about Jesus to their friends. But typically, within a few months, old habits creep back in, old ways of living continue. Not much changes.
So whatever happened to the resurrection? Whatever happened to being raised to new life in Christ? Whatever happened to being a new creation? People talk about living the “resurrected life,” and sing about it, read about it, preach about it, and even pray for it, but it rarely seems to happen.
Why is the resurrection life so rare?
I believe it is because we have forgotten a vital element in the truth of the resurrection, and it is this: There can be no resurrection without death. Death always precedes resurrection. If you want to see resurrection, you must hang out with the dead, and if you want to experience resurrection in your own life, you must die.
Yet very few of us like to think much about dying, and fewer still like to hear pastors and preachers call for us to die.
Preaching, teaching, writing, and singing about resurrection is wonderful. It is joyful. It is happy and uplifting. But preaching, teaching, writing, and singing about death? Not so much. Yet by definition, resurrection requires death.
To Live the Resurrection Life … Die!
If you get a chance, look through the Gospels and the writings of Paul and Peter, and try to find every reference to resurrection, the new life in Christ, and becoming a new creation. I haven’t yet done this myself, but I predict that almost always, within a few verses of talking about such exalted themes, the author will also mention the requirement of death.
You must die to your old self before being raised to new life. We are buried with Christ before we are raised with Him. We must crucify the old man and the lusts of the flesh, before the new man rises from the grave.
This may be one of the most prominent themes in Scripture. Almost every single time God makes a promise for something great — a new son, a new nation, a new kingdom, a new restoration — the humans to whom He makes the promise try to accomplish the promise in their own strength and ability, until finally, they give up all hope, and die to the promise. Only then does God step in and resurrect the shattered dream and the (seemingly) broken promise up out of the ashes into a glorious new life.
So you want to experience resurrection? Die.
Not literally, of course. Die to your dreams, your ambitions, your goals, your old habits and patterns. Die to yourself. Because resurrection reigns only where there is death.
The cross of Jesus is CENTRAL to everything!
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Christopher Bowen says
No cross, no crown.
Matthew Richardson says
An excellent point. Most ‘christians’ seek to make changes to thier lives but few seek to throw away thier old life and start completely new.
Yuri Wijting says
Great point and totally agree. However, there’s the element of being human. Our flesh doesn’t totally die so we don’t experience total resurrection in this life. It’s more like a hydra that you have keep on slaying and slaying.
brent Tamatea says
Yuri thats is what the world believes that we all sin and so why struggle just give in to it we are all sinners afterall.The truth is that is a lie we are overcomers not victims we have no power in ourselves to overcome sin however we have every power available in Christ through his holy spirit to be overcomers more than conqueres which means we crush the satan the serpent underfoot satan has no power over us if we walk in the spirit.If we walk according to the flesh satan has every right to trample upon our lives by causing guilt and condemnation because of our sin.In myself i am weak but in Christ i am strong.To many christians give up or give in because they try and live in there own strength and wonder why christianity is a struggle we can only live a christian life when we submit all our hearts and lives to Christ.brentnz
Michael Howarth says
I wrestle with this every day. The fact is we are new creations the moment we believe. We are ” made alive ” and seaked. Applying this to real life is the tricky part.
This is misleading. Paul says that we have already died. When Christ died, we died. We are alive in Christ. To believe that you still need to die is essentially unbelief in the finished work of the Cross. It is denial of the Gospel.
Even Paul says, death can’t separate us from the love of Christ.
You are right to say that resurrection life requires death, correct. But to say that you still need to face death is wrong. It has happened already for the believer. Yes, we will die to our earthly bodies, but we are to press on towards resurrection, and not death.
Jeremy Myers says
The truth I am getting at is the same truth Paul writes about all over the place, such as in 1 Corinthians 15:31. Or as Jesus says in Luke 9:23.
Death is a reality, true, as is described in 1 Cor 15:31 and we must deny the self, Luke 9:23.
However, for the Christian, death takes on a different flavor altogether. Before his conversion, he would deny himself as a means to salvation. He lived in death, feeling that death was his only hope. He felt it was death to life that saved him.
But now that he lives in Christ and is a new creature, his salvation is by Grace through faith, he does not die to life, but he dies to death. He seeks that life that is in heaven beyond the grave. Christ conquered the grave. His identity is not in death, for then he would be an unbeliever. His identity is in resurrection life toward which he must attain.
We die to self when we at last realise that in us is no good thing and we are totally incapable of living the resurrected life by self effort then and only then will we give up and surrender as a failure to Christ then in us the hope of glory in our hearts rises and we find we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us when we rely totally on Him putting no confidence in our flesh. Then we are putting to death the works of the flesh by walking in The Spirit agreeing with God about our very selves and not despising our little crosses each day for they are designed specifically for us and are exactly what we need for the transformation of Christs likeness being worked in us .
Aidan McLaughlin says
Damn it folks. If I have to die oooone mooooore time, I, m gonna kill somebody!!!! Lol. Kidding of course. Eternal life!?? Remember!!! Death not an option. Not on the menu anymore. Discontinued. No longer available. Sold out.