What should the resurrection of Jesus Christ teach us?
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[ This sermon was given on the last day during the Days of Unleavened Bread. ]
There's an interesting passage that caught my mind the other day and it's over in Philippians 3:8. We're just going to start right off with it because it's quite an interesting passage and how it relates to the Days of Unleavened Bread. It's over in Philippians chapter 3, we'll begin in verse 8 because it was reminiscent of the song that we just heard about the Lamb of God and His sacrifice and of course the connection of this time of the year. It is one of those passages that certainly reminds us of this time of the year. Let's notice what it says there.
Philippians 3:8 But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, (And of course this week we've done that haven't we? We've counted leavened bread as loss. We're going to suffer eating unleavened bread this week, a piece of flat stuff this week, because we understand what that symbolizes. We know what it means for us personally. But here Paul says everything, not just the physical things but anything that is most important, those spiritual things, those difficulties, those sins we're supposed to leave behind. Get rid of those things, count those as loss and accept the excellence that's found in Christ.) for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish,
(What I used to think was important is no longer important to me. Why?) That I may gain Christ.
Verse 9: and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is from the law, (That's limiting, I can't work up salvation on my own, that's doesn't come from me, but he says:) but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
So here the apostle Paul says something that maybe at first glance, you wonder why did he say that? What in the world is the power of His resurrection? What should the resurrection of Jesus Christ teach us and why would you want to talk about that during the Days of Unleavened Bread? What does that mean for the Days of Unleavened Bread? As you begin to think about it, when was Christ resurrected? During the Days of Unleavened Bread, wasn't He? He became that perfect wave sheaf offering. You can just write down Leviticus chapter 23, verse 10 talks about that physical offering that was given right after the first holy day of Unleavened Bread.
That Sunday during Unleavened Bread the priest would go out at night, they would cut down a sheaf of barley, they would prepare it, they would bring it into the temple and they would wave it before God. They would lift it up or shake it (different commentators say different things), but they would lift it up, they would elevate it, similar to the way that Jesus Christ Himself was elevated, was resurrected, was waved before God.
We know the connection to that during the Days of Unleavened Bread (you can find that over in John, chapter 20, verse 17). You don't need to turn there, just write it down. That's where Christ said to Mary, "Don't cling to Me yet, because I have not ascended to My Father." He hadn't been lifted up yet, He hadn't been elevated to the Father. Now later that day, He allowed the disciples to touch Him after He had fulfilled that wave sheaf offering. So here He was cut down, just like that sheaf was cut down. He was in the tomb three days and three nights, He was waved before God, He was that omer that was sacrificed and honored God in the temple and He was resurrected becoming the first of the first fruits fulfilling that.
So Paul connected that to a power that was found in His resurrection. That word power is the Greek word "dunamis" which is the same word that we get dynamite from or a dynamo. This is a powerful thing, a miraculous power, a huge power, mighty power and a power that is strong and wonderful. So what is the strength, the miraculous power, the meaning, the might behind the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how does it connect with the Days of Unleavened Bread?
Well it actually connects in a few different ways. I think first and foremost we recognize the fact that Jesus is Christ. If it hadn't been for the power of His Resurrection, could Jesus claim to be the Messiah? What was the sign that He was the Messiah? Do you remember what He said, "I'm going to give you one sign." What was it? The sign of Jonah, three days and three nights. He fulfilled that. Over in Romans, chapter 1, verse 3, I will turn there. We see that it is with this power that was in the resurrection that Jesus is recognized as the Christ, as the anointed one. Let's notice that right at the beginning of the book of Romans. Paul jumps right into some very deep meaning for us right at the beginning of his letter to God's people in Rome. He says:
Romans 1:3Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; See All... Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, (So what about Christ?)
Verse 4: and declared to be the Son of God with power (With dunamis) according to the Spirit of holiness, (Now how was "He declared to be the Son? How was He recognized as the Son of God?) by the resurrection from the dead - or because He rose from the dead – that's what the New English Bible says – because He rose from the dead - through whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are called of Jesus Christ.
So if it hadn't been for the resurrection we have no savior, there would be no captain of our salvation, no anointed one, there wouldn't be a Messiah. We wouldn't have a High Priest. There would be no soon coming king without the resurrection of Jesus Christ by that sign that He gave in Matthew 12:40For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. See All.... If it hadn't happened, He wouldn't be the one, He wouldn't be the anointed one and so the power of the resurrection shows very clearly that Jesus is Christ.
Now we're connected to that by an interesting example over in Acts chapter 13, verse 32. Let's notice here as the New Testament church began and they were preaching Jesus is Christ, that He was the Messiah, He was the one that came and died for our sins. So they were preaching that truth, they were preaching the good news, the gospel message that Christ was Savior and God has a plan of salvation.
Acts 13:32And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, See All... We declare to you glad tidings, (glad tidings of course that's the word for the gospel, the good news) that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children , (O.K. how did God fulfill the promises to us? How are the promises that God made fulfilled? Well, it was through Jesus Christ. How was it fulfilled?) in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: "I will give you the sure mercies of David."
The absolute promises that were made to David. So this one chief, this one omer that Jesus Christ gave of Himself signifies that He is the Christ, He is the Messiah, He is that one mediator, that one omer, that one Savior, the forerunner for you and me, our Redeemer. So the resurrection itself points to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, He is the Christ and yet the power of His resurrection doesn't stop there, it doesn't stop there at all.
Flip over to Romans, chapter 5, verse 6. Let's notice another aspect of the power of His resurrection. Here we find the connection for all of us, for you and mebecause:
Romans 5:6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. See All... For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
He died for all mankind. He died for you and me. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We recognize that fact at the Passover, don't we? That Christ shed His blood for us so that we could have a relationship with God, so that we could begin to come out of sin, so we can be unleavened, Christ died for us.
Verse 9: Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son (There's the Passover) much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God though our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
You see we have been since forgiven by the death of Christ, we are saved by His life. This begins to point to another important aspect to the power of His resurrection. The fact that He is not alone, He paved the way, so in other words the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof that God will resurrect us. The power of the resurrection is proof that God will resurrect you and me. We will have an opportunity to be in the Kingdom of God because we can be forgiven by His death and saved by His life. We can be in the Kingdom of God because of the resurrection, because Christ was resurrected during the Days of Unleavened Bread, we have the potential to be in the Kingdom of God forever.
In fact, just a couple of pages back, Acts chapter 3, verse 26 an important passage points right to this fact. It is a little bit of a challenge when you start looking into some of the passages in the New Testament that point to the fact that Christ's resurrection is proof that we will be resurrected, you have to leave out so many passages in order to get it all in there. There are so many of them that point to that. Let's notice what it says here.
Acts 3:26Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. See All... "To you first, God having raised up His servant, Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."
There is our forgiveness of sin turning.
Acts 4: 1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple and Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Now if we read that rather quickly, we see that the Sadducees were upset with the disciples because they were preaching Jesus, but that's not what they were most upset about. They didn't like the fact that they were preaching Christ. They didn't like that at all. But what were they most upset about? They were upset about the resurrection, because the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. They said no resurrections, forget that. That's non existent, that doesn't happen, that's not going to be. So they were upset with the disciples because they preached the resurrection. Now what's interesting, if we read a little bit too quickly, we see at the end of verse 2 they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. What is that saying? Well that's telling us that because of the resurrection of Christ, because of the power of His resurrection, we can be resurrected, we can be raised as well. It's a little more clear in the New International Reader's version. It says: The apostles were saying that because Jesus rose from the dead, people can be raised from the dead. No wonder they were upset. They didn't believe any of that.
So we begin to see, because of the power of the resurrection of Christ, we can look forward to our resurrection at Christ's return, we can meet Him in the air. It begins to introduce, I think that's kind of interesting to think about for a minute, to think about the resurrection. The Sadducees were upset because it was a fact. The resurrection was a fact the disciples went around preaching, knowing Christ appeared to them undoubtable proof that the resurrection was a reality and I think there's also something that goes beyond just the fact of knowing the resurrection, that there's also a principle that's involved as well. When you think about it, it's kind of an unleavened principle, the resurrection principle, think about it for a second. Christ was dead, brought back to life. It seems like the exact opposites, right? Death and life – opposite. How about sin and forgiveness or sin in growing in spiritual character? That's kind of a resurrection principle, isn't it?
If you have had a mind that has been destroyed by drugs, by pornography, by selfishness, can that life be renewed? Can that mind come back to life to a spiritual essence again? Can an emotion that is destroyed by adultery? Can an emotion that is destroyed by anger and rage or abuse? Can that mind be restored? You see, by the resurrection principle it can be. To the Holy Spirit of God a mind can be resurrected from the dead and brought to life. Can it? That's through God's Holy Spirit. You look at the ministry of Jesus Christ, wasn't that evident throughout His ministry if He walked the earth? Didn't He forgive prostitutes? We might have a hard time with that, but Christ could resurrect their minds when they turn to Him. How about dishonest abuse of tax collectors? Absolutely. You see when we repent and we allow God in a sense to resurrect our mind, to renew our minds and our hearts, ultimately we stay in that condition, we can look forward to the spiritual resurrection later. So that principle is throughout the New Testament, throughout I Corinthians 15 for sure. Can life come through God who brings it back? Something that dies can be resurrected? Well when we repent and we put on the mind of Christ, there is no doubt that that resurrection principle comes into play. In fact it reminds me of Philippians 3:21. It reminds us our lowly bodies will be conformed to His glorious body, all made possible because of the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Now it doesn't stop there. The power of His resurrection also changes our perspective, doesn't it? Well it sure should, it changed our diet this week, didn't it? O.K. how many of you pulled into McDonalds this week? You don't have to admit it. Those are the challenges that remind us how we need to come out of sin. How we are not quite there yet. That our thinking has to change, not just by looking at the package and seeing what's on the ingredients, but looking inside us and seeing what ingredients make up our character. Our ingredients, what's a good listing, have you ever thought of it that way? If you had to make a listing of the ingredients in you, would it be some of those traits that we want to get rid of? Is it being short tempered, is it being impatient? Or if we listed out those ingredients would we have the fruit of God's Spirit as our ingredient list? You see, that's what we're striving for and as we think about the resurrection of Christ, there is a measure of confidence that we can have because of what He did and how He sacrificed His life and the fact that He was resurrected.
I Peter chapter 1, verse 3 indicates our next principle that's found in the power of His resurrection, how there can be a certain level of confidence, a certain level of certainty as we are found in Him. Let's notice what I Peter chapter 1, verse 3 has to say.
I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Now here's Peter, he's writing (you check out the letter) those like you and me. What is your life like? He was writing to some people who were threatened, they were threatened by unbelievers, unbelieving relatives, some of them were being threatened by. Maybe we found ourselves in that situation, He was also writing to those who had overbearing bosses. Some of us could probably say that as well. He was writing to those who had neighbors who ridiculed them, people that they worked with, acquaintances that were persecuting them because they believed the truth. So the apostle Peter is trying to help them and help us to see beyond those things. What can we do about that? What should our frame of mind be when we're faced with these challenges? You know it's hard to be unleavened and have that kind of a godly frame of mind when there are so many challenges around us, when people are threatening us, when people are not believing the truth, when people are criticizing us, putting us down, persecuting us. Well Peter says that we've been given a living hope. You see, because of the power of His resurrection, we have hope, we have hope, the third principle of the power of the resurrection. We have hope. We know that this life is not all there is. There's eternity beyond this because of the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection makes it very obvious that there's no immortal soul. Life just doesn't go on forever, but there's hope beyond the grave, isn't there? There's a hope that goes beyond it, that our fate is not a hopeless fate. It says it's a living faith, it's a faith for living, a hope for living.
We don't have to focus on this world and let that overwhelm us because we know God is with us. We know God can help us to deal with these situations and beyond this. There's so much more, so our faith is not hopeless, it's not a race, it's not ineffective and our faith is not inadequate that somehow we can't meet the challenge, because through Jesus Christ we certainly can. We can live an unleavened life, we can have a different perspective. These seven days, haven't they proved that? I think they have. They've proven that it's possible to get leavening out of your house. Maybe it hasn't proved you can keep it out for those seven days, but hopefully you've done pretty well. But it's possible isn't it? It's possible to change our perspective, it's possible to change our diet for a week and hopefully learn the spiritual lessons that go along with that. So if we can do that physically, with the power of God's Spirit in us, is it possible to do that spiritually? It is, and that's part of the lesson of the Days of Unleavened Bread and that faith that we have gives us that encouragement, gives us that certainty that if God is with us, who can be against us? Who can be against us? He has a plan and wants us in His family forever. So Unleavened Bread is certainly a reminder of that. I mentioned a little earlier maybe we'll turn over there, I Corinthians 15. Let's notice because it describes this living hope that we can have because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because He was resurrected during the Days of Unleavened Bread, we can have that living hope, not a dead hope, He wasn't left in the grave, but we have a living hope.
Paul wrote to God's people in Corinth, He said:
I Corinthian 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. (Do you think this is an important concept to the apostle Paul and the preaching the gospel? Absolutely.) And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is also in vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ whom He did not raise up - if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
So Paul points out this great hope. That isn't the hope that though I just wish this would happen and wouldn't it be nice if this comes about and it sure would be helpful if these things do happen. That's not what that word hope means. You might look that up in a lexicon. That really means that this is a sure thing, that this is an undoubtedly thing, this is a certainty, this is something we can absolutely count on. So we can have hope because the dead do rise and if Christ was resurrected, it means because of the power of His resurrection, we're going to follow. We will be resurrected as well, so our faith is not ineffective, it's a living faith that says, that's pretty amazing (look at verse 17). Your faith is futile, it's vain, it's useless, it's not going to count for much. Then is says something amazing here at the end of verse 17, you are still in your sins! You are still in your sins. I thought my sins were forgiven by His death and were saved by His life. You see that's an Unleavened Bread principle, isn't it? We celebrate and commemorate Christ's death at the Passover, but if we leave Christ in the grave, where is our living faith? You see, during Unleavened Bread, we're to be out of sin. How is that possible? How is it possible to come out of sin, stay out of sin? Well, it's like the apostle Paul said here, if Christ is not risen, we're still in our sins, we don't have the power to live a sin-free life. We can't live a spiritual life without Christ in us. Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. See All... makes that so clear. Right? Paul said:
Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. See All... It is no longer I who live, but Christ Lives in me.
The resurrection, Jesus Christ is living His life in me and through me so that I can be sin free. That's an Unleavened Bread principle isn't it? I wish I had thought of that, but that's pretty cool. But, you know what? I didn't come up with that on my own. I was reading and old article from April 1951, the Good News magazine written by a fellow, I don't know if you've ever heard of him, Herbert W. Armstrong. He wrote this on page 14 of the Good News, l95l: The symbolism of the Passover is not complete alone. He said Passover pictures the acceptance of Christ's blood for the remission of past sin. It pictures the crucified dead Christ. Of course we commemorate that at the Passover, don't we? Now he says: Shall we leave Christ hanging on the cross? He said seven days of Unleavened Bread following the Passover pictures to us the complete putting away of sin, keeping of the commandments after past sins are forgiven. Then he goes on: They picture the life and work of the risen Christ who ascended to the throne of God where He now is actively at work in our behalf as our High Priest, cleansing us of sin, delivering us completely from its power. You see, it's because as Mr. Armstrong wrote, the risen Christ lives in us. We recognize that fact. We can say we celebrate that fact, that Christ lives in us. In a sense, don't we do that? It's not just during the Days of Unleavened Bread that we want to recognize that and commemorate that. This is a principle that's supposed to be ingrained in our mind in these seven days and that we carry it through the rest of the year, that we live as Christ, that my thinking is not my thinking anymore, it's Christ way of thinking, that I allowed the mind of Christ to shine through. Like Mr. Armstrong said here, that I am now picturing the life of the risen Christ in my actions, in my thinking, in the things that I do, because we are unleavened, we're not in our sins. We are the first fruits and so we can have an energy that's full of hope because we have the life of Christ in us, we're alive because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's a powerful thought. In fact over in Hebrews chapter 2, verse 14 we read about that power that's found because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that helps us to maintain an unleavened like spiritually speaking. I did write down the New Revised Version, it might be a little bit different then yours. It brings out the point a little bit clearer.
Hebrews 2:14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; See All... Since therefore, the children share flesh and blood (that's you and me, we're normal every day human beings, flesh and blood) He himself likewise shared the same thing (Christ was a man and God, He was God in the flesh. Now it's interesting, what did that picture, what did that point out, this life of God in the flesh?) so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil – so because of the death of Christ, we can overcome sin – sin can be forgiven – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
In other words, we have death hanging over our head, not just dying a physical death, but ultimately a spiritual death if we don't overcome sin without the sacrifice of Christ and His resurrection, there is the fear of death and yet what he's pointing out here is that there is a hope, there is a living hope that our sins can be forgiven through His death and by His life we can be saved. So he goes on:
Verse 16: For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God. to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 3:1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; See All... Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider that Jesus the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.
Consider that, that's now our hope. In His resurrection that He is alive, that He is at the right hand of the Father, that He is our Savior. He was the pioneer, the author and finisher of our faith, that death can be destroyed and so we can have the hope of the dead, that the grave is not the end of the story because of the resurrection of Christ. So we can have faith in our High Priest, we can have true faith that our sins are forgiven and so that will help us then to live a life (that's a hopeful life) of undying faith because of the power that's found in His resurrection.
That leads us into my next point. You see the power of His resurrection, it's not just that we know these things will come about in the future, it's not just the fact that Jesus is Christ, it's not just the fact that there is hope for the dead, but that it's a power right now. The power for living. The hope of the resurrection gives us the power right now to live a changed life. Romans concentrates on this almost throughout the entire letter the apostle Paul wrote to God's people in Rome. Romans chapter 5, verse 17, let's begin there and notice this amazing power that we can have right now. Because Christ was resurrected, we can have God's Spirit in us and that changed way of life isn't something that we just have to look forward to in the future, it's something that can begin right now. Let's notice that:
Romans 5:17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) See All... For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, (Of course that's talking about Adam) much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Now often times we'll read that through and we'll think about reigning and ruling and with Christ as Revelation 20 talks about and we look forward to the millennium when we'll reign and rule and absolutely, that's certainly the ultimate fulfillment of being a spirit being in the Kingdom of God. But you see, that's not just focusing on something that's far off in the future, this says reign in life, living, meaning life right now as a part of Paul's thinking, that we can triumph over sin, we can triumph over the penalty of sin in death through Jesus Christ. So that should change the way we think of who we are and so in a sense, we can ask ourselves, are we ready to rule right now? Don't we have authority? I think we do. If we claim to have God's Holy Spirit living in us, we have authority over sin through Jesus Christ. Now do we use that power to overcome that sin? That's really the question, isn't it? The Days of Unleavened Bread help us to picture that, that we can overcome and our life can be different. These seven days hopefully have engrained that habit within us, that we're going to spot not just the leavening and the puffed up bread and those kinds of things, but we're going to spot sin in our lives and depend on God's Spirit to eradicate it from us, from our thinking so it's no longer a part of who I am, that I'm putting on Christ more and more and sin is departing, it's becoming less and less a part of who I am. Paul goes on in chapter 6.
Romans 6:1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? See All... What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
But did we stay there? No. We know that baptism recognizes the death, the burial, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just like Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Let's notice that.
Verse 4: Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in likeness of His resurrection.
So as having our sins forgiven, we go on from there. We live that unleavened life and the only way that's possible, the only way it's possible to have that new life to walk in newness of life is to have Jesus Christ living in us and through that and if that's going to be possible, the only way that's possible is because He was resurrected, He's not left in the grave, He was the wave sheaf, He fulfilled the wave sheaf, He was dead and buried. In fact it's interesting to think about it. He was dead and buried for the first three days of Unleavened Bread wasn't He? He didn't keep the beginning of Unleavened Bread that year at all, He was in the ground those first three days of Unleavened Bread. Then He was raised. He became the first of the first fruits, right? So in a sense, for you and I, it required this burial with Christ and figuratively being raised up so that we can walk with a different frame of mind, with a different life. We pictured that at our baptism, didn't we? We were put down in that watery grave and if you were baptized and here today, they did not leave you under the water, did they? They didn't wait until the bubbles stopped, no they lifted you back up and you stood up, didn't you? You were raised, in fact look up resurrection, it means to stand forth, just like you stand up out of the waters at baptism, you were resurrected in a way, you left that old man buried and you were resurrected in a figuratively sense to live that new life in Christ, made possible by the power of His resurrection.
So how do we walk in newness of life? Well we have God's Spirit, we had those hands laid on us after standing for it and we received the power so that we can overcome. So Unleavened Bread is that yearly reminder, that we're supposed to continue be unleavened because we've been given the power of God's Holy Spirit so do we have to be fearful or have we been given the power that things just don't look the same anymore? Life has taken on a different perspective for us because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So does that change how we view our troubles and our trials, our difficulties? Does that give us a peace of mind? Does that help us to get rid of self pity, doubt, does it help us to understand when things don't go as the way that we hope? I think it does because it gives us purpose. We know that God has a plan and that gives us a power for living and that power makes our lives different because Jesus Christ Himself. As He was resurrected it was a totally different form of existence from being a man, being God in the flesh. It was totally different and now He's willing to share that with us as we look forward to the future. As it says in verse 4, chapter 6, (Above).
Unleavened Bread is a reminder of that. There's life beyond the pain. There's life beyond loss. There's life beyond disappointment. Didn't Christ face all of those things? Didn't the disciples face all of those things; loss, pain, disappointment, death? All of those things, but the resurrection of Christ points us to the fact there is life beyond that. Unleavened Bread is a reminder of that for us. Look down to verse 11, chapter 8, skip over a page or so.
Romans 8:11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. See All... But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you (Which we claim that to be as baptized Christians, we claim to have the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead) He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Now there's the future for you. Future being a part of the Kingdom forever. Looking down to verse 31.
Verse 31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? The Revised Standard says: "Everything else."
Verse 33: Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? (Plenty of people will do that, won't they? But with a changed perspective what does that do for our thinking? What will that do for us? Well, we know Satan is the accuser of the brethren, that's where it goes back to and yet do we have power to have a different perspective, live a different way? Yes.) It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Now that's not a future thing, thinking oh well, that's all going to happen down the line in the kingdom. No, that's power for living life right now. We can have a changed perspective. He's willing to help and guide and as we submit our lives to Him, He's going to be there, He's going to intercede for us because He was resurrected, He's at the right hand of the Father. So ultimately when we face the leavened world out there, we can have a different perspective. We can say:
Verse 35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (Well, this world wants to. Satan wants to, but that's not what has to happen. He goes on:) Shall tribulation, or distress or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Are any of those things going to separate us? No.) As it is written: "For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (So, there is a power for living a hopeful life. He goes on:) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So we can do all things through Christ who strengths us. Unleavened Bread is that reminder, that we have the risen Christ living in us and through us. You see the power of the resurrection is the fact that Christ is the Messiah, He's not just the Messiah, but He's my Savior, He's your Savior, He's our High Priest, He is our soon coming King and because He is, is proof that God will resurrect us and so we can look forward to that. He pioneered the way, He lead the way as the author and finisher of our faith. He showed that is it possible to live unleavened, it is possible to live a sin-free life, it is possible to have victory over Satan, it is possible to have a living faith that we can live a godly life because our sins are forgiven. We can have that undying hope and because of the resurrection of Christ, we've been given the power for living.
So as we conclude the Days of Unleavened Bread, let's be rededicated to live that way, to think that way, to have that unleavened life, not just to put it away for seven days and can't wait to get out to have that pizza tonight (that's not a bad thing) but don't indulge in the spiritual leavening, right? We want to stay away from that and continue in the power of God to live a sin-free life. As we do that, we will be found in Him and we can all truly say that we know Christ and the power of His resurrection.
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