Theme of the Week: Living in Light of the Resurrection
If Jesus has not risen from the dead, our faith, hope, and purpose to live has vanished and is useless (1 Corinthians 15). Conversely, if Jesus did indeed rose from the dead, then the implications are enormous. This week, we will explore how the resurrection impacts our lives in practical ways – more than we may think.
Bible Verse: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-35
On resurrection day, Jesus met two of his disciples on their way to Emmaus. They were feeling lost and could no longer recognize Jesus. Have you ever felt that way?
The disciples had built their identity on their own story – on being an Israelite and establishing the kingdom of Israel (Lk 24:19-21). This was their Jewish identity – who they were. But in a matter of hours, like a house of cards, their identity fell apart with Jesus’ crucifixion.
I grew up in a Christian home and church. I thought I had done everything right. However, one day, my life fell apart, and I was deeply hurt and disillusioned. Like the disciples, I did not see that coming. Isn’t that the way our lives often change – unexpectedly?
Through various circumstances, God allowed me to realize that even though I was a Christian, I had placed my identity in something other than Him.
Like the disciples, we sometimes build our identity on our traditions, education, cultural values, careers, money, family, or happiness. Are these things necessarily wrong? No.
However, when our identity is built on anything of this world, we are focusing on the “here and now”, and there is nothing more unstable than the “here and now,” as we have all seen over the last several weeks.
The risen Jesus knew the disciples’ hearts and came to their rescue. Jesus “himself drew near and went with them” (Luke 24:15). Jesus didn’t wait for them to come to Him. Jesus met the disciples when they were seeking to make sense of it all, looking for a solid foundation to anchor their identity to, while they were caught up in their own small, pitiful story of hopelessness.
Jesus told them another story: God’s story (Luke 6:25-29).
The resurrection story brings hope to our story, wherever we are in it. Because Jesus is alive, in Him, we have a new identity. In Jesus, the puzzle of our lives can come together because He gives us a whole picture of what life truly is. Because of the resurrection, in Jesus, we are now adopted sons of God and part of His story.
In Jesus, the disciples found joy in the midst of pain, and hope in the midst of loss and hopelessness. What are you anchoring your identity on?
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