Perceiving Resurrection in the Light of God’s Grace to Us and the World
Christ is Risen… He is Risen indeed!
This is the day that the Lord has made,
we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118: 24)
By Bahjat Khader, Head of the Online Diploma in Biblical Studies.
At this time of the year, we as Christians celebrate Easter around the world, announcing the glory of the Risen Christ, whereas the world undergoes conflicts, wars, hatred, and various wide-spread human fears. In the light of these global circumstances, as Christians we definitely find ourselves urged to reconsider our perception of resurrection beyond a mere historical event that is celebrated because it commemorates a central dogma for us. We need to seek the grace of resurrection which cannot be honored by merely a veneer of practices accompanied with social engagements. Nor it can be comprehended by alienating resurrection from our human nature, and our daily angst. Otherwise, we will end celebrating a different risen Jesus.
For believers, perceiving the grace of resurrection only occurs when we allow the nature of the Risen Christ to touch and fully penetrate our human nature. It is a glorious event of our nature’s renewal, which takes its roots from the cross, where Christ’s grace was granted to all, and God clearly spoke to us that Jesus doesn’t recall our sin, it was all paid for! But the cross doesn’t put an end to Christ’s grace bestowed to us. We are redeemed but still under the governance of death. Here again comes the grace of resurrection which moves us beyond redemption as Christ prevailed over the power of sin, he also grants us the power of new life (2 Cor. 5: 17). This is the ultimate grace of the Risen Christ!
As a new creation in Christ today, we are dedicated not to recall our old nature. We are expected to seek what is heavenly (Col. 3: 1-3) and act accordingly, and perceive our relationship to the world through the spectacles of the Risen Christ. We need to be agents of God, acting with Him as He is in action to renew all Earth (Ps. 3: 1-3). Indeed, our world is in great need for God’s renewal among individuals and societies. We still face sin-exhausted personalities, life burdens, personal fears, self-vulnerability, and other stories, while societies suffer obviously from the spread of injustice, discrimination, oppression, wars, etc. Today, we should start thinking of and implementing how to contribute as Godly agents in being light in the midst of all of this. Christ’s resurrection bestows to us the confidence that God is perfectly in action, He is righteous, full of love, and He never forsakes His people. That should be an initiative for us to be committed and to apply His righteousness and share His unconditional love to the world. To deliver a cohesive healing flux of love through our lives and missions. Love which recognizes that all humanity is equal and beloved in the eyes of God. Resurrection makes us a people who call for victorious life over death, makes us agents of peace-making where hatred is prominent. The grace of resurrection empowers us with Christ’s wisdom to orient our Christian consciousness to stand as a voice for the voiceless, a refuge for the homeless, and a bridge for those who have been unrecognized and oppressed. Since we believe that God is truly present and effectively in action, we, His resurrected people, are simultaneously present to be His voice within all these circumstances. Only then, can we gracefully cheer: Christ is Risen, and we are risen with Him!