Archives For Easter

The Day Between

Joshua Walker —  April 4, 2015 — Leave a comment

Celtic CrossOn this day 1,982 years ago the men and women who had devoted their lives to following Jesus for the previous three years locked themselves in a room and brooded in despair and fear. Their Lord, the one they thought was the Messiah, was dead. Some of them had even been the ones to wrap His body and bury Him.

What transformed this group of fearful, despairing men and women into the group that would turn the world upside down? It was their witness of the risen Lord and the subsequent gift of the Holy Spirit 50 days later at Pentecost.

The full scope of what Jesus had accomplished at the cross was brought to light through those events: He had made a way for all men to be reconciled to God; He had initiated New Creation in the resurrection; and He had initiated the New Covenant which includes the incredible gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit!

Here we are, almost two thousand years later, and I want to ask you: Do you live in the Day Between, in fear and despair, or do you live in faith in the risen Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit given to us? Although today is the day that we remember the Day Between, we never have to live there again. He rose and is risen today! We can live in that reality each and every day: we don’t have to wait for tomorrow!

My prayer is that you would be encouraged in the reality that we serve a risen Lord! May we live in faith and power and not despair and fear. What is our King asking you to do today that requires faith and the power of His Spirit? Obey His calling with His power as you walk in the “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

Cornerstone Moorpark TombOn Easter Sunday, virtually every sermon highlights Jesus’ resurrection. And rightly so. It is healthy for the church to remember this event, which Paul says happened at “the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4), with our annual church calendar.

Resurrection Sunday, as many call it. It’s a big deal.

But what about Monday? And the days after that? We are certain that it’s important to remember the resurrection, but does it matter for the other 364 days of the year? We’ll all say yes. But can you give a clear answer as to why?

The resurrection happened, and we should rejoice in that. But what difference does it make?

I want to point out two of Paul’s answers to that question in the last verses of 1 Corinthians 15. Paul believed that Jesus’ resurrection made a huge difference. He famously said,

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (vv. 17–19)

The resurrection matters. Here are two reasons it matters for our daily lives. The first is that the reality of the resurrection allows us to live in the certainty that death will not have the last word:

“This perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’

‘O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?’” (vv. 53–55)

Should your life look different because you know that death is not the end? Of course! Paul says that if death is the end, then “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (v. 32). In other words, get all your living in while you can, because you only live once. But if we will be raised, then the fear of death is gone. We can take bigger risks. We can pursue delayed gratification and look for rewards beyond the here and now.

The second way the resurrection affects our daily lives is closely related:

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (v. 58)

Paul is telling us that because death does not have the last word, what we do in this life will last longer than our lifespan. What we do for the Lord in this life has eternal implications. If Christ was not raised, then our 60-90 years are all that matter. Because Christ is raised, our labor will linger. Plato’s writings have had a continued impact for thousands of years. Our labor in the Lord will last longer. It’s not in vain. It will continue into the future of the God who killed death.

So take yesterday’s celebration of the resurrection and put it into practice today. That’s what the other 364 days are for.