Good afternoon. If you have your Bibles, go ahead and grab those. We’re going to be in Matthew, chapter 28. It’s my inclination on Easter to always move toward the historicity of the resurrection. Maybe that’s just how I’m built, but what I want to do is show you the stunning volume of evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans but came back to life three days later, not as a matter of faith but as a matter of historic fact.
In fact, the volume of evidence around 700 to 800 eyewitnesses to that resurrection, all sorts of ancillary evidence about that resurrection… That’s just kind of my bent. It’s the thing that geeks me out a little bit, just to say, “Hey, there is a stunning amount of evidence that this thing happened.” This is not fairy tale. This is not Greek mythology. The way you and I would judge fact versus fiction today can be applied to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is overwhelming that it happened and that it is true and that it has changed everything about the world since.
That’s my bent. That’s how I like to argue, yet I think a better use of our time, rather than getting into that… If that sounds like something you’d love to dig into, I would commend to you Jesus and the Eyewitnesses and then a 500-page book by N.T. Wright that’s entitled The Resurrection of the Son of God. If that’s what gets you excited, you can dig into those two books in particular and see the stunning amount of evidence around the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But what I wanted to spend our time doing today for the next 25 minutes is thinking about the implications of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ has risen from the dead (and you’re in church Easter Sunday morning…no surprise, we believe he did), then there are some significant implications of what that means for your life and for my life. With that said, let’s read my favorite version of the resurrection. Not that you’re supposed to have favorites, but in the four gospels, here’s my favorite: Matthew 28, the first 10 verses.
“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” I don’t know why, but I like the fact that he just rolled it aside and sat down on it. It feels like a boss move to me. Just roll away the stone. Bam! Just sit on it.
“His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ’Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.’” I love that little as he said, that Jesus keeps his promises.
“’Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ’Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ’Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.’”
Here’s what I want to do. It’s a little bit of sleight of hand preacher trick. I have two implications that are really more like four implications. The way you do that is you go implication with two sub-implications under the implication. Implication with two more. So that’s the plan, but I want to highlight these things as they are… This is how I’ve spent my week praying for us. If we can get these things down in our guts, then it can affect the type of life we’re living, even if the kind of life we’re living right now is full of victory and life and vibrancy. All the more this is good news if you’ve come in here and you feel a bit jaded or stunted or stuck.
So I want to just dive in. Here’s the first implication: if Jesus resurrected from the grave (and we believe he did), then our rescue, or our victory, is complete. Here’s what I mean by that. Death rules and reigns because sin entered into the cosmos. In fact, maybe I could say it like this. The zombie apocalypse is viewed very differently by the Bible than it is by our modern sci-fi writers. If you think about Pet Sematary or you think about The Walking Dead or anything like that, it’s pervasive in our culture.
If you think about it, what they view is that death is natural and resurrection is unnatural. Well, the Bible comes at it the opposite way, that death is unnatural and resurrection is natural. Since death was not in God’s design until sin entered the cosmos, then Christ’s resurrection from the grave shows that God has conquered death and, therefore, has conquered sin, which for us, as an implication, means it does not matter what our past is full of. The power of Christ’s forgiveness is available to all.
It means that no matter how you walked in here or limped in here today, you cannot out-sin him. This is stunning news. It’s not stunning news if you’re self-righteous, because you don’t think you need it, but when you see most clearly and you see that all your righteousness is but filthy rags before him, when you come face-to-face with the fact that looking around and judging yourself offset against someone else is not the same thing as judging yourself next to the complete holiness of God…
In that moment of terror, you’ll be grateful that the resurrection of Jesus Christ shows that there is no sin with more power than the cross of Jesus Christ. This reality is what has made us gather in this room this morning. In my background, I have about three or four instances that if I don’t lay them before the feet of the Lord, I just can’t believe I was ever part of them. I don’t know if you have those stories or those struggles or those moments in your life where it was revealed to you that you were not who you thought you were. Anybody?
You just thought you were better than that. You thought you were stronger than that. You thought that would never be you, and then you’re like, “Oh my gosh! It’s me.” The nausea that can come with that and the shame that can come with that and to know that the empty tomb shows that Christ has already handled that on my behalf… That’s amazing news. Some of the language we use with our children is language I’ve tried to bring in here so we can have this shared language.
The death of Jesus Christ and his subsequent resurrection means that all of our sins, past, present, and future… Think about that. Those moments in my past that I’m so ashamed of, my current struggles… Can we just thank God that he knows we’re going to blow it and has already made provisions for that? That’s a kind of stunning grace that doesn’t play itself out in many other human relationships.
God is freely going, “You’re going to blow it, and you’re going to promise me you’re not going to blow it, and you’re going to blow it again, and I’m going to love you even then. Then you’re going to blow it again despite the fact that I’ve loved you after you blew it again, and I’m going to love you again. Then you’re going to blow it again, and I’m going to love you, and it was all caught up in the resurrection of my Son and his death on your behalf.” That is amazing news.
Past, present, and future, but it’s also fully, freely, and forever. Fully in that if he only died for some of your sins and not all of your sins he would still be in the grave. His resurrection is evidence that the bill has been paid in full. If Jesus is still in the ground, then you have reason to be anxious about whether or not all of your sins are forgiven, but because he’s not we know the bill has been paid in full. Freely. He did not give you this love and this forgiveness so you could pay him back.
One of my favorite moments in the last week of Jesus’ life is Jesus hanging on the cross and having this conversation with the thief. “Today you’ll be with me in paradise.” That brother didn’t have much of a shot to repent for very long. He just has to hold out for a few more hours until he dies and he’s in paradise. He doesn’t get baptized. He doesn’t really live out the legitimate “I’ve changed. See? I’ve put myself together.” He doesn’t get down off the cross and pay everybody back for what he’s stolen. He’s just freely given grace.
It’s so hard for us to transition that to us, when we have there on the cross Jesus saying to a man who’s never going to be able to give him anything, “Today you’ll be with me in paradise forever.” Fully, freely, and forever. That thief, you and me… What’s our future? Our future is eternal life, starting now. This is one of the implications of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It is the best news in the universe. It empowers me and forms me and strengthens me to keep getting up and keep pursuing Jesus, to not believe the lie that I’m such a disappointment to him or that one day I’ll finally figure this out in such a way that he loves me. That is a haunting, demonic thought that rests on so many who claim Christ as Lord.
I say these kinds of things to you all the time. Jesus doesn’t love some future version of you. God doesn’t regret saving you. He didn’t think this would be a good idea 2,000 years ago, but now that he sees you up close totally regrets it, totally wants a do-over, would rather trade you in for somebody else. Those things can simply not be true, and our confidence is rooted in the resurrection. That’s one of the implications.
Here’s another one. I think you see in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead the seriousness of God’s love for you and the seriousness for the kingdom of God, God’s kingdom being made visible in the world. This is an implication of the resurrection. Here’s how I would maybe help try to explain it to us. When Jesus comes, he comes preaching the kingdom of God, that in the coming of Christ all things would be made new, that in the coming of Christ there would be victory, in the coming of Christ all that was broken would be restored and all that was dark would be made light and all that was sorrowful and painful would be set right. That was the promise of the kingdom.
At the coming of Christ and at the death of Christ and at the resurrection of Christ, that has been set into motion. Where I think we’re malformed as the people of God is I think we’ve grown familiar with what we’ve been saved from and have yet to fully embrace what we’ve been saved to. We have, for the most part, an understanding of what we’ve been saved from, yet we’re malformed until we can embrace what we’ve been saved to.
If you’ve just been saved from you tend to be a spectator, you tend to grow bored, you tend to start chasing fairy tales, but when you understand, “Not only have I been saved from but I’ve been saved to,” now you come alive. Now the world starts to look a bit different. Now you’re able to live for God’s glory and your joy. Let me explain.
On the cross of Jesus Christ, you have been saved from the wrath to come. Now I know we live in 2019. I know any idea of God being angry is not palatable to modern sensibilities. God is just like Tinker Bell, floating around in the sky, and he’ll sometimes sprinkle happy dust on us, and he never gets upset about anything. But it’s only in the modern era that you can separate apart love and wrath. It has never been true before.
To love someone deeply is to have the capacity for wrath. Anyone who has deep friendships, anyone who is married, and anybody who has children knows this is true. I do not set boundaries around my children because I hate them or want to rob them. I set boundaries around my children because I deeply love them and am trying to usher them into real deep life. I see it better than they do because I’m about to be 45 and they’re not.
To say that, actually, what’s loving is for me to tell 9-year-old little Norah, “Your autonomous self gets to govern our household” is one of the crueler, dumber things I could ever do. To ask my 9-year-old, “What should we do with our money? What should we eat for our meals? What should we prioritize as a family?” is absurd. It would be evil of me, not kind. God’s wrath is toward those who would suppress and destroy human flourishing. God’s wrath is against those who shake their fists at him as though they are better gods than he is.
He is eternal, has always been, will always be. He sees in a way we can’t comprehend. In the same way that my 45-ness helps shape her 9-ness, so God’s eternality shapes what we see and how we understand as fragile, mortal creatures. God’s “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” are never cruel. They’re always kind. “The boundaries have fallen for me in pleasant places,” is the way King David would say it.
We’ve been saved from the wrath to come. We’ve also been saved from slavery to sin. We’ve also been saved from the Devil and from the power of darkness. Again, to reject the supernatural reality of the world is to do so at our own peril. There is a real spiritual enemy that’s out to destroy you. This is not just intellectual assent. This is not “If I just have the right information everything changes for me.” There are spiritual realities at play, and we reject those to our own peril.
It’s interesting that as we try to empty the world of supernatural realties our hearts are so drawn to it in entertainment. Empty the world of supernatural realities. It’s just “Get the right information and life will be better. Process the right information and all that I want will actually happen,” but there are no angels, no demons, yet our hearts are drawn to Harry Potter’s universe and drawn to anything that’s magical and mythical and drawn to superheroes.
“There’s no supernatural except I need to watch and understand supernatural realities.” This is a game you and I are playing, and it’s a dangerous one. But on the cross of Jesus Christ, he crushes the head of Satan and demonic principalities for good. This is one of the things we’re saved from. We’re also saved from the law. I don’t mean we don’t walk according to the law. I mean Christ fulfills it for us so that life in Christ becomes the embodiment of the law.
If you didn’t know, the law has been given primarily… There are three uses of the law, but one of the primary uses of the law is to show you that you need a Savior. It’s actually more like a spiritual MRI. It shows you you’re sick, but it can’t heal you. If you struggle with lust and I say, “Don’t lust,” does that heal you? Are you like, “Oh! Okay. Never mind. Thank you. I didn’t know”?
If you struggle with rage and I just go, “Well, stop that,” you’re not going, “Oh, wow! I’m so grateful I came here. I didn’t know. Just stop snapping and screaming. I didn’t realize all I had to do was stop that.” That’s not how this works. Christ fulfills the law, and then the Spirit of God lives in us, and over time, more slowly than we would like, he transforms us from the inside out. Then, again, you and I have been set free from the law of sin and death.
Now, I think what has happened that has so, so robbed us of vibrancy in life is we stop there and put a period. Our whole understanding of what the Christian faith is is what we’ve been saved from. What’s missing is that we haven’t just been saved from. It’s not like Christ saves us from our sin, crushes Satan’s head, and then goes, “Okay. Here’s what I want you to do. Get together, sing about me, read my book, and I’ll be back to get you at some point in the future. Until then, just sing together.”
That’s not what has happened here. We haven’t just been saved from; we’ve been saved to, and that’s where I want to spend the bulk of my time. See, the things that are gnawing at us, like where we should find our hope or trying to define the question “Who am I?” or things like, “What’s my purpose…?” All of those are answered in the resurrection, not just the cross. In the resurrection, here’s what we’ve been saved for.
You’ve been saved for what the Bible calls union with Christ. If I could explain this maybe in a way that provokes your imagination… You have been saved for a vibrant, living, active relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just knowing about him but to be in Christ and Christ in you. There is a vibrant life that transcends white-knuckled moral betterment that you have been saved for. You have not been saved for trying harder; you’ve been saved for new life. You’ve been called into it, invited into it.
A lot of these have the same theme. You’ve been saved for eternal life. I don’t mean when you die. I mean now. My capacity to experience the life of Christ, the eternal, rich, deep life of Christ starts not when this physical body finally gives way but now. My soul is being expanded by the Holy Spirit day after day, year after year, to experience more of his grace, more of his glory, more of his power. Paul argues in Ephesians 2 it’s going to take the coming ages for me to grasp all that I’m caught up in.
We’re not waiting for heaven. He’s here now, dwelling inside of us. What a boring existence if I’m sitting around waiting for glory. No. Glory has come. Glory is dwelling inside believers. Life is here, now. Please don’t get caught up in the boredom of waiting. I love this one. This is John 17:21. We have been invited to participate in the life of the triune God. Tim Keller describes it this way. He might have gotten it from someone else, but everything goes back to Keller in 2019. “Keller said it.”
“I think it was Augustine. It was probably Paul.”
“No, it was Keller.”
Keller in his book The Reason for God writes a whole chapter on what he called the dance. The way he describes the triune nature of God…God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit…is Jesus is like, “Isn’t God the Father incredible? Oh, your Father loves you. Oh, God the Father.” And the Holy Spirit is like, “Oh, Jesus. This is all about Jesus. I’m going to give you a heart for Jesus. I’m going to make much of Jesus.” And the Father is like, “Look at this. The Son and the Spirit.”
There’s this dance of joy that Genesis says is so full of life and so full of joy it explodes out onto the canvas of creation where it continues to push out in every direction imaginable. In John 17, Jesus says, “Hey, do you want to come dance with us? Do you want to come get right into the middle of this life that’s at the epicenter of reality?” This is what you’ve been saved for. Not just from but for.
You’ve been saved for knowing God. I know that sounds like it’s similar and no big deal, but you and I have a real problem in understanding what actually knowing something is and knowing about something is. We’re having a harder time teasing those two things out. The sheer volume of input you and I are getting in our day and age can make us confused. We can really feel like we know people we don’t know.
You can follow their social media. You can watch their reality show. You can watch their 30 for 30. You can watch kind of “this sports life,” and you can know what they eat for breakfast and what they like to do on date night and their backstory. There’s this weird kind of “I know who they are,” and you have no idea who they are. You know about them; you don’t know them. There are few things more beautiful than knowing someone. Not knowing about them. That’s a faux intimacy.
It’s a weird thing that we want to live vicariously through so many other people. What you have been saved to or for is to actually know God, not as a list of things you know about him but as someone you have experienced, someone you know, someone that you could actually say, “Let me introduce you to somebody.” Not with a bunch of… “Let me tell you what he has done. Let me tell you about what’s going on here between me and God.”
You’ve been saved for freedom. If you feel stuck in your sin, if you feel stuck in trespass, Christ has died to take the revivifications of sin off you, but he also has risen to set you free from it owning you. As a Spirit-indwelled believer, you can say no to those compulsions by dragging them into the presence of Jesus Christ. Now, let me say this. We will stumble about because of the weakness of our flesh until the return of Christ. In fact, I have never been compelled by skeptics and cynics telling me that Christians are hypocrites. I’ve always just heartily agreed.
Sometimes I’ve even said, “They’re actually worse than that. By the way, would you want to come? I think you’d fit right in with us. I mean, inconsistent. Do you ever feel inconsistent, Mr. Skeptic? A bit jaded. You’re coming off a little jaded, Skeptic. Foolish? Oh, brother, I have a whole community of foolishness for you.” In fact, the way the glory of God is made visible isn’t in all of our perfection but in all of our belief that he will love us regardless of our imperfection. Is the glory of Christ not seen in the Gospels by his love for those who no one else wanted and who couldn’t seem to get it right?
Aren’t those who feel like they have it all super offended by Jesus? “You’re not going to eat with us? You’re going to eat with Zacchaeus? You’re not going to come to my house? You’re going to go to her house? What kind of man would let a woman like that touch his feet?” Do you see what’s happening in this moment? What God has done for his own glory is he has put a bunch of us together who are a bit goofy, a bit wonky. We stumble about. We stub our toes. We get in each other’s way, yet in this picture is an invitation into his grace, into his mercy.
It’s not that we don’t change over time. He’s totally changing us from the inside out over time. We are being sanctified, but sanctification is slow and messy. The times I’ve made big jumps in my sanctification is right after I did something really dumb. Anybody else go, “Oh yeah. That’s certainly how it has worked for me”? If I have light-year jumps, it’s after I did something I thought I wasn’t capable of doing anymore.
Not only for freedom. I want to spend a little bit of time on this one, and then I want to land the plane. You’ve also been invited into community. I was having Easter with my family yesterday. We have Lauren’s family tonight. (It was either 5:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. We went with the p.m. today.) So I’m there, and everybody is kind of on their device. My dad laments that. He wishes we could go back to yesteryear when you sent a pigeon.
So he’s lamenting out loud, like an old man screaming at the wind, and he tells this story about one of his grandchildren. She was with one of her friends, and they were driving out to this lake, and they just didn’t stop texting. He could hear their fingernails clicking against the glass. My dad finally went, “Who are you texting?” To which the granddaughter said, “Brooke,” who was sitting next to her. So they’re next to each other, and they’re texting one another, sitting next to one another.
What’s happening in this kind of world that you and I live in… I’m not my dad. I’m preaching from an iPad. I am not anti-technology. I love technology, but what it has done is it has created a really thin understanding of what it means to be known and what it means to be in community. Think about it. Some of us were talking earlier this week that even 20 years ago, if something went wrong in your house, you didn’t YouTube it on your phone; you called your neighbor or you called a repairman. At least then you were having interactions with other human beings.
But now? Gosh, you can just fix it yourself. Well, I can’t, even with a YouTube video, but some people can just look that up and fix it themselves now. What has happened is we’re more and more connected and more and more depressed, more and more anxious, more and more alone, more and more suicidal, more and more medicated. Why? Because we’re not known and we don’t know. Hear me now. The only way for you to ever experience love and grace in a way that’s transformative is for you to be fully known and then experience love and grace.
As long as you have it up, as long as you have that kind of “I’m great. Everything is good. I’m doing well…” As long as you have that up, you will never be able to experience love. You will never understand grace, because anytime somebody goes, “Hey, man, love you, and I really mean that,” internally, you’re going to go, “Oh, no, that can’t be true because he doesn’t know me. If he knew I did this, if she knew I struggled with that, if they ever knew about this, they would surely reject me.” So you can’t even receive love.
I can’t tell you how often marriages blow up around this principle. “I’m going to hide these things, I’m going to pretend I have everything together,” and then when it’s found out that you don’t have everything together, you feel like your whole world is burning to the ground. It’s until you can invite people into your imperfection, when you can get to that space… This is why I love the church, and I think this is the role of the church. Why? Because the cross of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of Jesus Christ lays the ground flat.
The cross of Christ says this to us all: If you think that person is perfect, you just have a distance issue. If you’re looking at that person and going, “Oh, if my life could just look like that, if my life could be ordered like theirs, if I could get some of that, then life would work…” The Bible is saying, “No, no. You just have a distance problem. If you get closer, you will see the imperfections.” There’s only one Perfect One, and it’s no pastor, it’s no athlete, it’s no person you know.
The Perfect One is Christ, and he has outed us all as imperfect, which should…God help us…help us be okay with our imperfections. There’s real strength found in imperfection. To be able to say, “Man, this is where I am” and have other people go, “Oh, I’m not alone; praise him,” and then to walk through those imperfections together in a community of safety and grace and hope and love? That’s transformative in a way that suburban Christianity just isn’t going to cut it.
We’re a backyard culture with nine-foot privacy fences with barbed wire and .50-cals on the corner. We want to determine, “I will let in whoever I want in.” There’s no getting to know your neighbor, for the most part. There’s no active practices of radical hospitality anymore. We’re nervous about the world. We’re anxious about what we might let in. We’re in self-protection mode, and you have been saved not for self-protection mode but for joy mode, making much of the glory of God. That’s what you’ve been invited into.
Ultimately, you have been saved for the mission of God. I just want to swear that part of the reason, more and more and more, churches are becoming like conferences… Do you know what I mean by that? Come in and hear a good speaker and listen to some good music instead of you being empowered and sent out to do the work of God. It is because we have not embraced and understood that every man, woman, and child in this room who is full of the Holy Spirit has been gifted, wired, and placed in neighborhoods, workplaces, and everywhere else around us for the glory of God and our joy.
Most entertained generation the world has ever known and bored out of our minds. How is that possible? Because we have shrunk back from radical hospitality. We have shrunk back from living out the gospel in our everyday lives. There’s always something for you to get involved in that God is up to, always a neighbor who could use prayer, always a coworker who could use encouragement, always someone else to invite around the table.
If you’re like, “Oh, brother, you don’t know. I have like 15 kids. We’re playing 32 sports.” Listen. All I’m saying is…Wow! You have a lot more opportunity than others. I mean, you’re going to need a bigger dining room table. We’re so rushed. I’m not asking you to add things; I’m asking you to invite things. You’re already eating at some point. Right? You are. You’re like, “Well, it’s in our car and I’m just throwing nuggets in the back seat and just trying to get there.” Well, throw another kid back there. (I’m just kidding. Don’t steal anyone’s kid.)
But to be more mindful of “I want to leverage the time I have for the glory of God and my joy.” You will not be able to experience all that Christ has for you sitting in here listening to me and singing these songs, because his call on your life is his call on your life…your destiny, what you have been created for. That destiny word didn’t wig you out, did it? Let’s talk about the Bible. You…not just me…you, created by God, gifted by God, saved by God, placed by God for your joy and his glory are a part of this cosmic “take your kid to work day.”
God is longing to save, to redeem, to heal, to encourage, to speak life, and he’s going to do that through you. That’s what you’ve been saved for. I can’t tell you how often we dig in our heels and refuse to do this. This is devastating to intimacy with God. Maybe this illustration would help. Lauren is singing today, and let’s say after the service she came up to me and said, “Hey, after church today I’d really like to share something with you. I want to invite you deeper into my heart and share some things with you that I think will grow our closeness and our intimacy with one another.”
What would it look like if I was like, “Yeah, but I think we’re doing okay, really. Do we need to go there? I feel good where we are right now. I don’t feel any distance between us. I kind of like what we’ve been doing. Can’t we just be husband and wife without all that?” I don’t know who you married. That’s going to go really, really badly for me. In fact, I’m going to need to stay with somebody. What I have the capacity to do as Lauren invites me in, or what Lauren has the capacity to do as I invite her in, is to say, “No, I’m good. Thank you, though.”
I just wonder sometimes if God, the Holy Spirit inside of us, is going, “Hey, do you want to play? I’m about to set this person free. Do you want to be a part of that?” I just wonder if instead we’re like, “Quick question. If I say no, am I forgiven? If I say no, am I still going to heaven when I die? If I say no, are we still cool?” The scandalous grace of God is “Yes.”
Here’s this invitation to be used by the Holy Spirit for supernatural breakthrough, and we’re like, “I’d rather sit in the stands. I don’t want to play.” I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to understand that. I want more for you than that, but more than that, I want you to want more for you than that. “Well, I’m not an expert. You’re an expert.” Brother, sister, I’m no expert. Gosh, I feel just as wonky in that space as I ever have.
I fear that sometimes we’re like, “Yeah, I don’t want to be seen as weird. I don’t want to be that guy.” That guy who’s used by the Holy Spirit to set someone free? You should want to be that guy. That girl who’s looked at by the other as being the weird spiritual woman? Yes, be that woman. Why not? Is just hanging out listening to sermons better? Brother, sister, he has more for you. I want you to step into resurrection life. We’re going to talk next week about what it means to be spiritually alive. It’s in this vein.
This is not intellectual assent; it’s full and joyful surrender to understanding that the Spirit of God is going to use us in ways that are beyond our imaginations, not because we’re gifted, not because we’re pretty, not because we have it all together, not because we have all of the answers, but because we’re uniquely wired and uniquely placed for our joy and for his glory. Or you could just keep finding a new church every five to six years because you get bored. I don’t know another game to play, because you haven’t just been saved from something; you’ve been saved into something. Let’s pray.
Father, thank you for today. Thank you for the chance to be together and to marvel at the resurrection of Christ, that we have been forgiven of sin but we have also been invited into participation in the triune life of God and the mission of God. Thank you that you don’t save us out of this world but you save us for it. I pray that you might, as I’ve already prayed, provoke our imaginations today. What would it look like to walk in resurrection power?
What would it look like to not just lean into being forgiven for sin, which is so beautiful and so right and so good and there is much we need to be forgiven for and we thank you that fully, freely, and forever you have forgiven us, yesterday, today, and forever, but I ask now that you would captivate us with how you want to use us, captivate us by how you’ve placed us, captivate us by the call you’ve placed on our lives to live into our design, to live into your plan, to live into the power made available to us. Give us a hunger and thirst for more. Give us by your grace the ability to say yes. It’s for your beautiful name I pray, amen.