The belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead is the most important fact of the life and death of a Christian. After all, if Jesus did indeed rise from the dead, then we have every reason to say as the apostle Paul did, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” So we have hope at the end of life that we have been given “the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
However, if we leave our reflection there, we can easily fall into the “pie in the sky” type of Christianity. If our faith is solely focused on what happens after our bodies die, then it may mean very little to us and our neighbors in this life.
So, what does the resurrection of Jesus mean for Christians today? In his new book, Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson writes:
The resurrection of Jesus establishes the conditions in which we live and mature in the Christian life and carry on this conversation: Jesus alive and present. A lively sense of Jesus’ resurrection, which took place without any help or comment from us, keeps us from attempting to take charge of our own development and growth. Frequent meditation on Jesus’ resurrection — the huge mystery of it, the unprecedented energies flowing from it—prevents us from reducing the language of our conversation to what we can define or control. “Practice resurrection,” a phrase I got from Wendell Berry, strikes just the right note. We live our lives in the practice of what we do not originate and cannot anticipate. When we practice resurrection, we continuously enter into what is more than we are. When we practice resurrection, we keep company with Jesus, alive and present, who knows where we are going better than we do, which is always “from glory unto glory.”
Keeping company with Jesus. Important to do now as we anticipate doing so more fully in the life to come.