Living as Resurrection People
By Rev. Susan Britton
Ephesians 1:15-23 (NLT)
When I say 2016 was a difficult year, that is an understatement. A divorce, job loss, and a broken foot were only the tip of the iceberg that created changes in my life, accompanied by feelings of uncertainty and grief. In spring of that year, I went on a personal retreat to spend extended time in the healing presence of God.
One afternoon, during a deep time of prayer, I could see Jesus sitting before me with his hands outstretched. He gently said, “Give me everything that hurts. Place it all in my hands.”
So one by one, as Jesus and I sorted through memories, I placed every hurtful situation, each person that needed to be forgiven, each loss I was grieving, and the worries about the future, into His loving outstretched hands. Those things were no longer mine to hold and carry. They were His.
A little later that same afternoon, during a walk, I sat down on a bench to pray again. This time, I could see Jesus on the cross. Somehow His hands were holding everything I had given him earlier. Then, the image changed. This time, Jesus was coming out of the tomb on Easter morning. He held out his nail-scarred hands for me to see. This time, His hands were empty. Jesus looked at me and said, “I took all of those things you gave me to the cross and to the grave, and they are no more. This is what it means to live as Resurrection people.”
Romans 6:4 states, “ For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”
This means this gift of new life is not just for someday when we are in heaven, and for when we are living on a redeemed earth. This gift of new life is for here and now as well.
Not only does Jesus remove the guilt from our sins, our failures to love; Jesus will also heal the hurts we carry and give us the power to forgive, if we let Him. And then Jesus works another miracle: the areas of our lives that were broken and hurting, are transformed into areas of strength and love and grace.
I’m not sure how He does it, the same way I’m not sure how the love and power of God raised Jesus from the dead; but I know without a shadow of a doubt, that He does it. It is because of the Resurrection that we can lift up our heads and walk with dignity and grace as beloved children of God, and be empowered to bring His transforming love to this world.
This is the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe God.
What do you need to place in the hands of Jesus today so that it may be transformed by the Resurrecting power of Christ?
Jesus, I come before you carrying so many things that you never intended for me to carry. Help me to place each of these things into your loving hands, so that by your Resurrecting power I may walk in the fullness of new life in you. Amen.
How have you experienced the fullness of new life in Jesus today?
Comment below or use a journal to record how God is with you each day of this journey.
This lesson was right on for me this morning! I appreciate all the lessons, but this is one I needed to hear for sure. Thank you for sharing!
We both traveled through a journey in 2016. January 2, 2016 my brother-in-law died after my sister had died giving us 2 grieving, angry children. We went from a family of 5 to 7 overnight. There is no possible way for us to have traveled through the experience without being able to leave it to God and take refuge when I was so overwhelmed. Your message was a good reminder of what to do in the midst of a storm and so appropriate for today. Thanks for the message and I am happy toy found your path through the challenges.