Usually I leave class thinking about something the prof brought up, and the past few days it's all run together, centered around this question: Do I live like I really believe in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ?
Here's the deal: we can get so caught up in our doctrines of total depravity and how sinful we are that we let that become the controlling narrative of our lives. Day after day we become so caught up in me, me, me that we forget that true discipleship is following Jesus Christ. Certainly part of following Him is denying oneself and taking up our crosses. And we must constantly be aware of our neediness before Him (John 15).
However, if we become too engrossed in our sinfulness, we totally miss out on Jesus and the work that He has done and is doing in us. This is no cheap prosperity gospel, where all we have to do is ask for the blessing of the Lord. Neither is this a name it and claim it short equation for always being upbeat in the faith.
The life of Christ was marked by humility and power, woven together so beautifully that it is hard for us to understand how they can exist together. Jesus died on the cross for our sins; an agonizing death that should bring us to our knees in gratitude. But the story is not over with His death. We are Christians because of His resurrection. And it is in the resurrection where we find the strength to live in the now and not yet.
We live in a broken world, where the doctrine of sin is the most empirically verifiable fact. But thanks be to God that He didn't leave us in our sin. He redeemed us through Jesus, the Christ, and His Kingdom has come to the earth! That should wake us up in the morning. It's certainly what gave the early Church, as seen in Acts, the motivation to be so bold and courageous with the Gospel.
We fall down more often than we succeed. In fact, we make the same mistakes over and over. But the power of Christ to change lives and change hearts is still as real as it was in the pages of Acts. The power of the resurrection should so invade our lives that it transforms how we do our Christian faith. We serve Christ in faithfulness, because He is the source of faithfulness. We choose to follow Him the hard way, because He has surely shown us the right way to live. But we also fellowship with the most powerful force in the universe, the power of Christ through the working of the Spirit in our lives.
It's not easy, and Jesus didn't say it would. Some days will be harder than others, and most will include pain and sorrow. But those are not places to dwell in: Christ is risen! Let that be the framework for how we live as believers. Christ is risen! And He loves us. Oh how He loves. And it's a love that in all the history of the world is impossible to contain (see: martyrs)
What is our response to the wickedness, despair, and hopelessness around us? The resurrected Christ, who redeemed us and offers a new way to do life. A life of continual redemption; discipleship to Christ. I want in.