Blog In Audio:
I hope you are all well today. I am home for a bit and enjoying preparations for the Christmas season. All of our family will be together at some point and that will be a blessing. I got close on the elk hunt. God did His part, but I couldn’t get my part done. I should have been a bit more expectant and let go of my perceived patterns. Anyway, it is a story to be told. I did have a good time with God, even though I had to wave goodbye to the herd of elk that passed before my eyes as I navigated the flooded waters of my elk territory.
As sons and daughters of God, we are members of the body of Christ. The body of Christ is a body of resurrection life! It is a testimony of the mountain of God made by intimate relationships with God in Christ. That body is a body of resurrected life, and it is a body of eternal life – today, tomorrow, and in that which has no end.
Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
When Jesus descended into the grave, He opened the doors of realm of the dead and led captivity captive to the glory of a heavenly reality through Christ’s mercy that triumphed over the grave for all of mankind. It was the mercy of God through the flesh of Jesus Christ that empowered life to enter the realm of the dead, both on earth and in heaven. When life entered the room of death, life prevailed! This is true for every aspect of our lives today. When life enters our space of being, our space of being finds the freedom of resurrection life in Christ.
Matthew 27:51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
These verses in Matthew and in Daniel are not accounts of something to come. For Daniel it was an account of the future that was made real in the account in the story of Matthew. The triumph of the mercy of God through Jesus Christ made it possible for the dead to find life in Christ. Those who had labored from the beginning of the day in the administration of the knowledge of good and evil were now reaping the rewards of the grace of God found in Christ. The judgment of God’s mercy was ending the captivity of death and opening the door for an administration of grace. At the resurrection of Jesus Christ, graves opened and many who had been bound to the grave were freed from their captivity. Not only were those bound to the captivity of Sheol (the realm of the dead) freed, but all who were bound to the captivity of death in this world were justified to find true life in Christ. God’s mercy triumphed over death! It is because of God’s mercy that we can find grace to overcome all manner of death in this world and in that which is to come!
Psalms 68:17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; the Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place. 18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, even from the rebellious, that the LORD God might dwell there.
Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
It is because of the life of Christ, that God gives us gifts that empower the life of knowing Him to become the growing reality of God’s goodness in our lives. Those gifts are gifts of His grace that cause us to become as we should be as a family of God. God’s gifts of grace empower us to be people of God who bring life to our world. It is because of this that we can be empowered to continually put off the old man of death by putting on the new man in Christ. Whether we are in this world, or part of the cloud of witness of life in that which is to come, we are children of God who bring the life of God to the space in which we live.
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
This is not a time to be distracted by what is going on in the realm of death in this world. It is time to be joined to life in the realm of eternity and to be sons and daughters of life and light to our world.
Ted J. Hanson