Easter People rejoice in Jesus’ Death AND Resurrection.
You really can’t have one without the other.
In Romans 5: 10 Paul writes, For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son, while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
Easter People are crucified with Christ so that they can live the risen life serving the one who died for them.The two must be held together for faith to be authentic and real and transformational. If it’s only about one or the other there is no power.
One of the few things I remember from chemistry lessons at school is the saying that was drummed into us, ‘Always Add Acid to Water’ – it just made you want to add water to acid to see what would happen! The reason why chemistry can be quite exciting for a school pupil is seeing what happens when you put 2 compounds together, alone they are stable and inert but put them together and something explosive might happen….so it is with an empty Cross and a risen Saviour, the power comes from holding the 2 together.
Easter People have hope IN life and BEYOND death
For us Christians in the West life isn’t perfect but it is perhaps more comfortable than it has ever been for any previous generation. That wasn’t the case for many Christians down through the ages, from those early Christians that were thrown to the lions through the Negro slaves to those persecuted for their faith today there have been many for whom this life has been a vale of tears. It was inevitable that a piety and a way of thinking evolved that said this world is bad but the next world is good and from that developed a sense of the physical is bad and the spiritual is good.
Easter People have a worldview that differs radically from this.
This is God’s good creation that in Christ he is working to redeem and renew. The resurrection of Jesus was a one off unrepeatable seminal occurrence in the middle of history that has power to transform the world now as well as being our hope for the future.
This is a physical, bodily resurrection, albeit a transformed body and through the power of that resurrection the kingdom of heaven begins here and now, it invades our reality.
Romans 8: 10,11, And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
So Easter People have hope for this life and also for life beyond death
For Easter People MISSION is the outworking of Jesus’ bodily resurrection
For many years the Christian community has split into two camps.
Belonging to one camp were those for whom the focus of their mission was the salvation of souls. In the other camp were those for whom the word mission meant a calling to feed the hungry and bring justice to the persecuted.
Easter people will have nothing to do with this false dichotomy.
They will understand that it is not enough just to put bread into mouths when hearts are hardened and rebellious but neither is it good enough to save souls for some distant heavenly destination when hunger, poverty and injustice stalk the face of the earth where God’s kingdom is being established right now.
Easter People will understand that saving souls and lifting the poor are two faces of the same coin, and are both together the currency of the kingdom.
And finally let’s understand that being Easter People is not a one day a year designation but that it’s 365 days a year and 24/7. We might call today Easter Day, but to we who are Easter People every day is both Good Friday and Easter Day.