Living in Light of the Resurrection

Living in Light of the Resurrection

We went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a few years ago on one of our rare family vacations.  I love Eureka Springs.  When I was a kid, we spent quite a bit of time there at my aunt and uncle’s house.  When our family went, we saw all the sights I remembered from childhood.  One particularly popular spot is the Crescent Hotel.  The Crescent opened on May 20, 1886, sits on top of an Ozark mountain, and is reported to have ghosts.  It’s a real sight to see.  (Look them up: )

[As a matter of background for the following story, we are Baptist and my children have never gone to any other church besides a Baptist church.]

On the grounds of the Crescent Hotel is the Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church.  The church is small, but beautiful, as are the grounds.  (See their website:  Along the garden wall, there is a series of small, white statutes depicting the life of Jesus.  They start with his birth and end at the crucifixion.  My son, who was 12 at the time, asked why the story ended at the crucifixion with Jesus still on the cross.  Where is the empty tomb?  I explained that Catholics depict Jesus on the cross to represent the forgiveness of our sins.  He kept saying, “I don’t like it.  I don’t like it at all.”  I have to agree with him.  

Forgiveness of sin is a really big deal and without it we would never be able to spend eternity with God, but what about the empty tomb?  It proved once and for all that Jesus is God, for only God has the ability to overcome death with life.  The empty tomb, however, represents Christ’s victory over death.  Thankfully, the story didn’t end at the crucifixion — and it doesn’t even end at the empty tomb!  The story of Jesus goes on into eternity.  

Have you ever been reading the Bible and had a mind blowing epiphany?  Sometimes it’s something you know you’ve read many times over and you just now really heard what the passage is saying.  In your mind, you are saying, “Oh my gosh!  I see so clearly!”  It’s exciting.  That happened to me recently while I was reading Romans in my morning study.  Romans 4:22-25 says:

That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness [Abraham].”  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.  It will be counted to us who believe him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.  (emphasis added)

I’ve heard many times that the Christian should live in light of the cross, but as I’m reading this passage, it becomes so clear to me that that living in light of the cross is forgiveness, but living in light of the resurrection is victory.  Forgiveness is priceless, but it’s only part of the story.  Like the story in the statues in Eureka Springs, it’s incomplete.  Living in light of the resurrection is living in justification every day.  It’s becoming more Christ-like every day.  It’s being the Church every day.  It is victory over death and sin every day.  The cross was a one-time only event.  The resurrection is every day.

It’s a mistake to end your Christian walk at the cross for that is where it all begins.  It’s like starting a road trip and never pulling the car out of the driveway.  If we had done that, we would have never seen the historic Crescent Hotel or the beautiful Ozark Mountains.  We would have never gone on a three mile hike, all uphill, that the park ranger swore was suitable for out-of-shape chubby girls to see the amazingly cool waterfall at the apex.  (In all sincerity, I thought I wasn’t going to make it back to the car!)  

Life is like that.  Some of it is beautiful scenery and some of it is a grueling hike.  All of it, in Christ, is a victory.  Justification is the state of being right with God.  Live your life right with God.  Live in light of the resurrection, for there is victory in Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *