Waking Up to Jesus

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Resurrection MorningHappy Resurrection!!! May this be your BEST Easter/First Fruits ever. It is a glorious thing to know that life is eternal, and that death is forever gone for the redeemed. We never need to fear or worry as we drive by that neighborhood cemetery that our lives will end there. We don't have to be troubled when we see a loved one or friend lying in a casket at a funeral. No, the Lord has a plan and future for His people that are beyond words. Our lives never really begin or have any meaning until we start to understand that glorious truth and hope for our lives.

But the central story of our Lord's resurrection is often totally missed by people. You see the story of resurrection is not just about having our physical bodies resurrected on some future day. The story of Easter/First Fruits is also about a spiritual birth and resurrection that takes place right now in our lives. In other words, we as Christians spiritually resurrect now as we begin to wake up to the Lord being alive in our lives each day. Jesus is alive now, not just on a special holiday the Church celebrates! The Christian faith is not about attending Easter services once a year. Sadly, every year there are multitudes of people that attend Easter services, but the rest of year they seem to vanish or "die" again. The message of Easter is that our Lord's physical resurrection gives birth to our spiritual resurrection for today. The Lord rose from the dead to wake us up and resurrect us from the spiritual death of life without God. The Christian life is about being more alive than we have ever been. It is about seeing Jesus in every detail and moment of life 24/7 and being totally transformed right now.
 
This storyline of having a spiritual birth and resurrection is the most repeated story in the world and it has gone on every day from Genesis 1 and the original Creation Story. You see the Sun was created to start each new day as it rises or resurrects and brings forth new life to the world. In a similar way, the Son of God created our world with the Father and the Spirit so we could receive His life and truth each new day for our lives. And to make this story even more poignant and clear, our entire sleep patterns were designed to bring a witness to this same truth of rising up or resurrecting. Each morning we wake up or resurrect from our sleep just as the Sun is rising up in the east. As a result, each morning of our lives is a witness, a picture or rehearsal of First fruits or Easter Sunday. The Son of God was resurrected from the dead as an eternal witness that He conquered sin and the grave. Our Lord wakes us up from our spiritual death by sending His light and truth into our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit. All of this enables us to see the Resurrection as the storyline of life itself.

This amazing witness to the resurrection is also seen by the fact that people on average sleep about 8 hours/day. That time translates into 1/3 of every day we have ever lived. But why do we only sleep 8 hours and not 4 or 12? The answer to that question is that our sleep is a preeminent witness to our Risen Lord and our future resurrection. Only one member of the Trinity, God the Son, fell asleep or died on the Cross, not the Father or the Spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to give an eternal witness that God is 3-in-1 and that same God redeems us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Now the Bible wonderfully brings all these truths together in Ephesians 2:4-6 where we hear,
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus...
In the passage from Ephesians 2 the Apostle Paul tells us that the heart of Christianity is God making us alive, waking us up, giving us new birth and resurrecting us when we were spiritually dead to the Lord. In other words, people who are not Christians are spiritually dead to the Lord, even though they are walking around each day. Such people either have no real faith or a dead faith that produces no real change in their lives. Real faith or saving faith changes us is some way. We are not the same people. Easter is not just a day on the calendar in the spring or time to have a good dinner. Easter celebrates that we are really live, that we are resurrected, that we are spiritually awake, that we have eternal life. Sadly, those who have not yet put their faith in the Lord Jesus are dead to the things of God. That dead world is seen every day chasing money, position, power and pleasure. That spiritually dead world is the world from which our Lord came to deliver us so we could begin to live with Him and experience abundant life forever.

This glorious story of Easter/First fruits is meant for every person on earth. Resurrection and new birth are not ideas and truths just for Christians, but the whole world. And in a time of religious confusion, tolerance and deceptive multiculturalism we need to remember that the story of resurrection is hardwired into the life of every person on earth. Just as the sun rises and people wake up in the morning, so everyone needs the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God. The Gospel message needs to go out and be shared with everyone with a renewed passion and zeal.

As Easter Sunday comes to us, I hope we are all alive to our Lord and what the resurrection story is really all about. If the Christian Faith is just something to believe in for the next life then we have missed the storyline of what our Lord did for us. Easter is the incredible story of the Lord of heaven and earth calling us out of our graves of indifference, love for the things of this world, love for our sins and an inordinate focus on ourselves. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the story of how a group of people woke up to God and changed the world. A traditional, dead faith that simple goes through a few religious services and rituals once in a while is not why our Lord died on the Cross or rose again. Nominal and cultural Christianity is not only a dead faith; it is not the real one.

May all of us wake up and come alive for our Lord. May the work of the Holy Spirit wake us up to have the spiritual power to see the Lord Jesus Christ in ways that gives us power to overcome sin and its numerous temptations in our lives.

So, by God's grace, let's be more alive today in our Lord with a passion for Him than we have ever been before. May others see that Jesus is alive in us. That is the BEST Easter anyone could have. Christ is Risen; He is risen indeed.