“He is Risen…”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
The bodily resurrection of Christ is an historic fact. Jesus completed everything necessary for redemption. He completed God’s plan of redemption established in eternity. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that everything Jesus said is absolutely true. He is fully God and fully Man. He was the Passover Lamb which has been sacrificed, 1Cor. 5:7. The Risen Lord Jesus is our hope!
Those who stand firmly in the Person and Work of Christ have been made His followers by the Holy Spirit. Disciples, followers and learners of Jesus Christ, are made not born. Only God makes Christians. No one is born a Christian. No one is righteous, no one even seeks God. The Bible describes all mankind as naturally children of God’s wrath. But, God is rich in mercy. He chooses to pour out His mercy on His people whom He chose before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1, 2.
The Bible defines salvation to be deliverance by God from God for God. The Apostle Paul wrote that believers have been crucified with Christ. Christians no longer live for themselves but for Him. Christians live for God. We have God-centered lives. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth to hold every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2Cor. 10:5.
The believer’s life in Christ is made possible by the perfect life of Christ and His perfect sacrifice. His bodily resurrection is the proof of this absolute truth.
So now we who are in Christ must live in Him. We are called to work out our salvation because God is at work in us, Phil. 2:12-13. The Evangelist, Luke wrote of the practical application for living in Christ by the power of His resurrection. Christians are disciples, Acts 11:26. A disciple is a learner and a follower of a master. Therefore, a Christian is a learner and follower of Jesus Christ our Master. Proceeding further, living the Christian Life is namely the life of a learner and follower of Jesus.
A friend of mine calls a Christian, “A work in progress.” Jesus taught a parable that concerns this work in progress. This progressive work according to the Bible is called living “in Christ.”
In the parable of the Talents, Mt. 25:14-30, Jesus gave a comprehensive view of the Kingdom Life. We who submit to the King Jesus live the Kingdom Life. Christians are called to live each day before the King expecting His return at any time. Further, the King calls His servants to invest what He has given each one in His Kingdom. This again is the Christian’s life “in Christ.”
The Parable of the Talents Immediately precedes Jesus’ teaching on the final judgment. The Parable of the Talents not only teaches God’s expectation for His people to invest what He has given them in His Kingdom. It further emphasizes the absolute sovereign rule of God.
I’m sure you all know the story. In summary, Jesus compared the Kingdom of heaven to an owner who went on a journey and gave his property to three of his servants. They were given a specified sum of money, “according to his ability”, Mt. 25:15. The master then left on his journey, returned after a time and sought to settle accounts.
Two servants invested the master’s money and presented him with a return on investment. They hear the master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. … Enter into the joy of your master.” Unfortunately, the third servant hid the master’s money and had no increase to give to the master. This servant did not hear comforting words. He heard words of judgment.
The two faithful servants invested what their master gave them. They represent those who live the Christian Life. Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings. He has entrusted His people with gifts and talents and yes, money. God’s call to Christians is: invest what you have been given for God’s glory.
This description of the Christian Life is the believer’s response to “He is Risen.”
I pray that we’ve all enjoyed a beautiful Celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord. Now the question is: “Has the bodily resurrection of Jesus changed your life?” May you live for God. May you seek to glorify Him in all that you do. May your life be an investment in the Kingdom as the Master has commanded!