April 8, 2016

Death then glory!

When the risen Christ walked along the road to Emmaus with two of His disciples, their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. They were discussing His death when He came alongside and asked about their conversation. They replied:

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:21–26)

Without His death and resurrection, what kind of glory would be missing? Chambers points out that Jesus now has power to convey His life to us, a different kind of life that He had before. Fully God died as fully man, and the life He now has includes sinless human life.

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. (Hebrews 2:10)

The writer of Hebrews focuses on the perfection of Jesus’ resurrected life, but notice that this also includes bringing many sons to that same glory — the glory of a sinless human life. We will never be deity, but when sinners become God’s people through that rebirth called salvation, we are a new creation. Granted, it inhabits the old flesh, but when that is discarded at death, we enter into the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chambers says, “One day we shall have a body like unto His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life.” He quotes Paul who said:

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8–11)

Some would say that the Christian hope is eternal life, but we already have that. To me, the greater hope is living fully in the power of Christ’s resurrected life. For the present time, His life is in me, but it seems to come and go as the Spirit and the flesh do battle. Sometimes I might be filled with the Spirit inasmuch as my capacity to be filled, but the flesh perseveres. However, in glory there will be no restrictions, no hindrances. The life of Christ will reign in me. That hope depends entirely on the truth that Jesus told those two confused disciples on the road to Emmaus; He needed to die to enter into His glory . . .  as did Paul, and as must every other child of God.

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