I am forever changed by grief, but grief is not the full measure of my life in Christ. “GLEANINGS from Claudia — The Abiding Life” posts explore this life attached to the One True Vine.
“He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.” Ephesians 2:5-6 from “The Message”
I’m steeping in the truth of Easter this week. It is a rich and simple truth yet full of depths and shades of mystery and meaning. I see my sin so clearly, but I see God’s love overshadowing that sin. I see love, original seminal ‘God is love’ love in existence since time began, expressed in death that gives way to life … and all this for me and you. Our own nature, created in the image of God, tells us that love births life, and so it is with the love of God expressed in Christ.
I so enjoy the way ‘The Message’ version of the Bible expresses this truth in Romans 8:
“But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells — even though you still experience all the limitations of sin — you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us — an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!” Romans 8:9-17
I love the Lord and I love living life in Him in my imperfect ‘not-yet-out-of-the-flesh’ way. The reality is that life, even life in Christ, isn’t always easy … in fact it can be hard unto death at times. But there is a super-reality beyond this reality – life in Christ is not a solo journey—it is a lively adventure with a trusted guide who has walked the path before me. It is an exciting and sometimes perilous trip with a sure and good end. In fact I know the end from the beginning – I am alive in Christ and today I sit with Jesus my Messiah in highest heaven! PRAISE HIM!
“That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all — was put to death and then made alive — to bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 from “The Message”