By faith we know that Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected. “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:9-11) This is in the past.
By faith we believe that in the last day we will be changed into the likeness of Jesus with resurrected bodies. “We will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51-52) This is in the future.
But what about the present?
The Holy Spirit tells us over and over through the words of Jesus and the teachings of the apostles that the resurrection of Jesus impacts our daily living. Because He lives, we live. We were dead in our sins, but God has made us alive in Christ. The power to live comes, not from our determination to follow the perfect laws of God, but through the Spirit of life. “By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Rom 7:6)
Because our old selves died when Jesus died, we are now raised to walk in newness of life. “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7) “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4) It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. The lives we live in our bodies, we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. (see Gal 2:20)
When Jesus said to Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” He was not just forecasting the great miracle of bringing Lazarus back to life four days after he died… He was saying: God is presently in your midst and He holds the power of life. Jesus was and is God in the present.
Not everyone believes Jesus rose from the dead, despite the evidence and believers’ efforts to convince. But if people could see the changed lives of those who used to be captive to sin and empty living, what a witness that would be. “By My Spirit… and with one another… live the resurrected life my Son gives and the world will see Me. Pray His prayers, do His works, love others the way He loves you… and My will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence… Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” Ephesians 3:10-12, 20-21