The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Risen: Life IN Christ

Tomorrow, the majority of Christian ( Orthodox ) congregations, both 'High' & 'low' around the world will gather to celebrate the Church Holiday known officially as 'Easter'; in many of these congregations, the familiar key-phrase will be, 'He is risen!' Some have begun to exchanged this hallowed greeting with the phrase, 'She is risen', or even 'We are risen'; the import being, of course, that with the Resurrection of Jesus, as the apostle Paul states ( Colossians 3:1 ), we, or the Church, the Body of Christ, also experienced the Resurrection!

The obviously Corporate Nature of the Body of Christ & thus of the Resurrection is something that has been ( 'AHEM' ) discussed to death! The concurrent & orthodox belief has always been that, because Jesus was raised from the grave in the selfsame Body, so must our biology ( individually ) be thus reanimated. Ezekiel 37 most famously shows this happening to the Body of Israel & though some would likely transfer this event upon the Church today ( not far wrong ), the event in question did NOT refer to individual bodies in the 21st century ( or later ) being raised, but to the corporate Body of Israel in the first-century A.D. ( in particular ) being raised to New Life!

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4

Having discussed this passage & the immediate context previously, we will not go into great depth here, except to drive home the point once again, that in the apostle's mind, the Resurrection of Jesus pointed, not to individual bodies being raised from the dead, but rather to the Church ( corporately & individually ) being raised to New Life & a renewal ( repentance & redemption ) of our actions, from serving useless idols to serving the Kingdom of our Lord & God!

The Resurrection of Jesus, which the apostle Paul names the 'firstfruits' ( I Corinthians 15 ), was simply the precursor, the Guarantee, if you will, of our own, corporate Resurrection! The Body of Christ, the Church, was raised from the ashes of covenantally-dead Israel; they rose, in the first-century A.D. like the mythical phoenix, prepared over 'the thousand years' ( we call it 'the millenia' ) to fulfill the Work of our Lord. As the progeny of that first-century Church, we too have been & are being prepared to fulfill this same task, to be Ministers of Reconciliation, to continually expand, through the Power of the Resurrection, the Borders of the Kingdom that has been given to us! 

On the Cross, Jesus uttered these famous Words of Promise, 'It is finished'! Although there has been some debate as to exactly what He meant by this somewhat ambiguous statement; He clearly stated that the Purpose for which He gave up His Spirit on the cruel Cross of Calvary had been accomplished! That Purpose was the Redemption & Reconciliation of Israel ( II Corinthians 5:19 ), not just those of Israel according to the flesh, but those who made up the Israel of God, those who would Rule with Him in His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Righteousness!

While the Work of the Christ ( God ) was accomplished by His sacrifice, His Church has been given the continuous task of fulling that Word! Today, we see many who yet strive against this Word & do not realize this reconciliation: we, as the Body of Christ, have been entrusted with this ministry, having been filled with His Spirit & given One Mind, 'the mind of Christ', as the apostle Paul so gloriously put it ( I Corinthians 2:16 ); this One Mind fulfills the Purpose of God in Christ!

We, each of us, are 'members', ( individually ), as the apostle, once again, clearly states ( Romans 12:5, I Corinthians 12:27 ) of ONE Body, that being the Body of Christ, the Church; this One Body however, is corporately charged with Fulfilling the Truth of the Resurrection! Just as the apostle exhorted his first-century readers to 'walk in newness of life', so we, as the Resurrected Body of Christ should carry on that tradition, not falling back into the old ways ( unless they're better ), but ever searching for newer & better ways to serve the Kingdom of our God & Father!

Is She ( referring to the Church ) risen? Undoubtedly! In the same manner, then, WE are risen as well; we ( individually ) have been given New Life & WE ( corporately ) are called to minister the Reconciliation which Jesus accomplished to the world. Individually, we may not possess the strength necessary to carry this out ( I know I don't), but corporately we have the same Strength that moved a mountain back in Jesus' Day!

'We are Risen!'

Let us embrace this Truth, not just in this season, but every day & in the Unity of the Faith, Fulfill the Work of the Christ in this Expansion Project we call Life!

Charles Haddon Shank

No comments: