“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” -Mark 16:6
Is He alive? Two thousand years later this question still remains. Scholars and theologians have debated both sides. Many have been tortured and executed because of how they answered this three word question. Quite frankly, how we answer this question changes the trajectory of our lives .
I am not here to debate whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. If you do not believe He rose from the dead, I cannot force you to believe, and this might be a great place to stop reading (although, I challenge you to keep going). But if you do believe He rose from the dead, I am here to ask the question: is He alive? Just because you believe He rose from the dead does not imply that He is alive.
What do I mean? I’m glad you asked. Let me reword my question. Is He alive in our hearts? Is He alive in our convictions? In our daily thoughts? Is He alive in our lives?
The resurrection was debatably one of the most powerful and impactful moments during Jesus’ life on earth. It proved that He was God. He may have defeated sin on the cross, but that means nothing if He did not raise himself from the dead. We cannot have salvation with a dead saviour. His words would have been spoken in vain if the tomb had not been left empty. And the same power that raised Christ from the dead would not exist in those who believe if He still laid there lifeless.
Jesus’ resurrection was not only the most significant event in His life but in ours as well. It bridged the gap between man and God, and it provided a perfect union between the Creator and His creation. Christ’s resurrection was such a life giving act of God, yet we often live a lifeless life, because we make Him a lifeless God.
"Pardon my pun, theoretically a resurrected Christ who paid it all sounds great, but that’s not enough to pay my rent. He can’t fix my relationship issues, my addiction to pride and pornography…Those are strongholds too hard to break — see, I have real life issues to deal with. I believe Christ rose from the dead, but I have greater obstacles to address throughout the week. I’ll praise him for what He does, on Sundays. All the other days I'll worry about me."
While I've never actually said these words outloud I have thought them and I have acted upon them. I have lived my life thus far with a poor conviction of Christ’s resurrected power. I have forgotten the transforming truth that Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father with every name, power, and rule under his feet. I have belittled the sovereignty of God over the circumstantial stress from bills, break ups, failures, and rejection. I have believed He rose from the dead, but I have failed to keep Him alive in my heart.
If we actually live in full assurance of the power of Christ’s resurrection, then fear, insecurities, failures, crisis, death, hurt, pain, disease, brokenness, and doubt will have the same level of influence they did on the third day of Christ's death. None.
So I ask you, What keeps Jesus from being fully alive in your life today? Or How do you prevent Jesus from being fully alive in your own life?