This past weekend, we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus, one of the biggest holy days of the Christian year. As followers of Jesus, however, what do we do with the resurrection? Yes, of course, we believe it and we celebrate it, but what do we do about it? A fairly typical discussion of the resurrection and it’s result goes like this, “Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. Because he defeated death, we get to defeat death too. I can’t wait until the resurrection, then I’ll have a new body.”
While I believe that every part of that statement is true, I believe that there is more to the discussion than only the future hope of the resurrection. So here’s the question that we all need to work through, if the resurrection is true, how does this affect our present reality?
What I hope that we can begin to realize, and something that I myself need to remember, is that the resurrection is the beginning. It’s not just an event that has importance for the end of the world, but for the here and now. Death and sin have already been defeated; they have no more power. The resurrection started something new, God is restoring all things. Jesus is the one who says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Even though that is a statement from Revelation, it’s a present reality. Much like the world of Narnia being turned form Winter to Spring, God is already bringing new life to the world. Paul tells us that whoever is in Christ is a new creation.
So what does this mean? It means that we are to be about the work of our master. If we are disciples of Jesus, we do what he did and would do. He is making all things new, restoring the world, and reconciling all things and all people to himself. So what should we do? I love what N.T. Wright says about this in his book Surprised By Hope, “What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.”
God’s kingdom is a present reality ushered in by the resurrection and we get to join in the work! Next time you go to work, next time you do something for someone else, or next time you do something creative, do it as a disciple of Jesus who is a part of the new creation.