How Christ's Resurrection Impacts You Daily
I remember a time a few years ago when I was speaking with a friend who was relating to me some difficulties in her life. I asked her, "What does the resurrection mean in this situation?" She answered, "I know it should mean something, but I don't know what." Most of us are there. We know that the resurrection is important but we haven't connected it with our daily lives.
Sometimes the chapter breaks in the Bible get in the way of our understanding truth. Here's the last two verses from Romans 4 and the first verse of Romans 5:
But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his [Abraham's] sake alone, but for ours also. It [righteousness] will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The death of Jesus Christ was the ultimate expression of God's hatred of and wrath against sin. He slaughtered His own Son, pouring out upon Him in three hours all of the wrath for all of the sins of all of the elect that would have been theirs for all of eternity. Only the wrath of God could kill the Son of God. Christ's death signals God's wrath against sin.
What does the resurrection signal? Simply this: that Christ had paid the penalty, and was now, once again, completely pleasing in the Father's sight. Jesus was back to being, "My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased." God raised Him up and declared Him, "Not guilty."
Okay, that's all well and good as an interaction between the Father and the Son...but what about us? Here's the mind-blowing truth: When the Father punished the Son, He punished Him for all the sin you ever have and ever will commit. All God's wrath for all your sin has been propitiated! So, where does that leave you and me who believe that this substitution was for us? Here: We are His beloved children, with whom He is well-pleased. Yes, we are not guilty—but not simply not guilty. We are also righteous and pleasing to Him. We are beloved sons and daughters—with whom He is very pleased!
How should this truth of expiated sin and complete acceptance and righteousness affect you today? All the personal sin you struggle with today has been taken care of. The enslaving power of it has been broken because you are now completely accepted and no longer guilty. Walking through suffering is transformed by the realities of His suffering for you and His guaranteed promise of future glory. He is completely at peace with you—if you will believe that He is that good. All the wrath is gone. You're completely pleasing to Him. All you have to do is believe.
For some of you, you may be thinking: "Yeah, but what about confession... repentance... doing good...??"
To which I respond, "Of course!" All these things will be the natural outgrowth of true faith in Him and in what the resurrection says about Him, about you. But don't let the focus be on you and what you need to do. Let it be on Him and on what He's done. Then confess, obey, repent, do good. But don't do it because you feel guilty. Do it because you have been loved and welcomed. Do it because you're ALREADY very pleasing to Him and you love to serve Him.
How important is the resurrection? It means everything. Wrath is completely spent, "very pleasing" has come to stay.