April 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
You won’t find the word in the dictionary – In fact, ‘Risenness’ elicits those red, squiggly lines that come in Word documents when a word is either not a word, or a misspelled one (not in mine – I added it to my Word dictionary). But for my thinking, there is no more appropriate description for the status every Christ-follower lays claim to.
From the moment of the Resurrection everything has changed and we have been ushered into an entirely new state of being in Christ. We are assured that our lives are no longer divided by a few decades on this planet. Death, though still sin’s curse, is no longer an unconquered foe. Paul’s boast in Philippians 1:21 reflects the transformation the Resurrection brings: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain,” as he strikes the balance of living with purpose and dying without hopeless dread.
This is the state of living in the ‘Risenness’ of Jesus. We not only share the reward of His conquest, but we are liberated to embrace and manifest the counter-cultural life of those who are free from the gloom of a meaningless existence.
– We can forgive in a graceless world.
– We can serve and sacrifice before a self-consumed culture.
– We can love without fear of being unloved in return.
Now the fact is that we don’t always live this way because Risenness is as much a dynamic as the Resurrection is an event. Each day that event beckons us to enter into the continuing realization of our new status – to believe that it is every bit as real and compelling for us as it was when Jesus appeared to His mourning disciples, or when we first trusted Christ. Yet every encounter challenges us to either respond as hopeless, dying people, or as people set free from the self-protective instincts that Jesus buried on our behalf when He arose.
But make no mistake about it – Lives of Risenness become the clearest human evidences of the of the Resurrection of Christ to a world that may not believe, but that wishes that what Jesus did could be true.
Indeed, this is Good News.