Theme of the Week: Why Easter Changes Everything
Bible Verse: The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15 ESV
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1-9; Luke 9:23-27; Romans 5:9
C. S. Lewis warns us about a problem we have with our desires, but the problem is not what we might expect. He argues: “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.”1
It is true that Christ calls us to deny ourselves and take up our crosses in order to follow him (Luke 9:23). But we must not interpret this as a call to suppress our desires. Rather, this is a call to redirect our desires.
In Colossians 3:1–2, the apostle Paul calls us to reorient our desires based on our status of being raised with Christ. Even though the resurrection is a future event for believers, it is also a present reality. The truth is, the future has been pulled back into our present experience!
So what difference should our present experience of Christ’s resurrection make in our lives? The apostle Paul explains this in parallel commands. First, he tells us to “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). The expression “set your hearts on” is actually the word seek. It refers to what we pursue.
To make the point even clearer, Paul adds a contrast at the end of the sentence: “not on earthly things.” These are things that belong to the old order or old way of life: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, and lying (Col. 3:5–9).
C. S. Lewis observes: We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.2
But the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything! The reality of our future resurrection as followers of Christ has been pulled back into the present and has reoriented our desires. The result, according to Colossians 3:1–2, is that we will attempt to line up our desires with the life Christ’s resurrection has made possible.
Peter O’Brien summarizes this well: “Since you have shared in Christ’s resurrection your aims, ambitions, in fact your whole outlook, are to be centered in him, in that place of highest honor where God has exalted him.”3
1 O’Brien, Peter T., Colossians, Philemon, Word Biblical Commentary, (Waco: Word, 1982).
2 Lewis, C. S., The Weight of Glory.
Some content taken from Risen: 50 Reasons Why the Resurrection Changed Everything. Copyright © 2013 by Steven D. Mathewson. Used by permission of Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
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