It Was Sunday — But Monday’s a Comin!

I never get tired of listening to the Easter meditation of the late pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego, Dr. S.M. Lockridge, as he spoke about the crucifixion of Jesus on Friday. One passage of the litany says:

It’s Friday
The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands
To the cross
They nail my Savior’s feet
To the cross
And then they raise him up
Next to criminals

It’s Friday
But let me tell you something
Sunday’s comin’

Pastor Lockridge was scripturally and historically correct. Jesus died on Friday and Sunday came and Jesus rose from the tomb.

Whenever you happen to open this blog, this past Sunday was Easter in 2018, and we sang, shouted, preached, and celebrated the historical event of Jesus’ triumphant bodily resurrection. It was Sunday, but Monday has come. What now?

Far too many Christians start their workday lives with little or no connection between Easter Sunday’s worship and Monday’s work.

Bishop N.T. Wright in speaking of Jesus’ declaration to Martha in John 11:25 that He was the Resurrection and the Life, says: “The future has burst into the present. The new creation, and with it the resurrection, has come forward from the end of time into the middle of time. Jesus has not just come, as we sometimes say or sing, ‘from heaven to earth’; it is equally true to say that he has come from God’s future into the present, into the mess and muddle of the world we know. ‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ he says. ‘Resurrection’ isn’t just a doctrine. It isn’t just a future fact. It’s a person.”

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus a new order of things had come into being.  Not just a new reality in the hearts of believers (although this true – “you ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart”—wonderful!), but there’s so much more  — there’s a new reality in history.

It is the teaching of God’s Word that Jesus is the true Israel of God, that his incarnation, obedience, death and resurrection was not a by-product of Israel’s rejection of the offer of an earthly kingdom, but the fulfillment of God’s plan from all eternity. This is what Jesus told the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. One of them said, “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” In response our Lord said in essence, “All the expectations and longings of the Old Testament are fulfilled in me and by me. I am its focus and fulfillment.

The fullness of time has already come (Gal. 4:4). Jesus did not come because the time was fulfilled, but fulfilled the time by His coming! Blasting a cross-shaped, resurrection sized hole in the middle of human history was the matrix from which was born a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). The long-anticipated age of the Spirit foretold by Joel had arrived (Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21).

To receive the gospel message – the good news — that is God-authored, Christ-centered, and that has a Cross-shaped, Resurrection-sized hole is to cease to be a last days people and become a new days people in a new age! It is the invitation of Acts 5:20: to speak, see, and savor the words of this LIFE.

The phenomenal growth of the number of disciples after the First Advent of Jesus is an enigma. With no big name personalities, no entertaining programs, no pizza parties and not a single building, they went from 120 in an Upper Room to thousands within a few weeks time. Despite the intense opposition, brutal persecution, and social ostracization, and despite the physical absence of their leader, the Lord Jesus Christ – their numbers multiplied incredibly and inexplicably. Why were so many embracing the message of the disciples of Christ? The answer is the events of the first Easter left a puzzling, immeasurable hole in history, a hole the shape of the cross of Christ and the size of His Resurrection. And the writers of the New Testament take us to the beginning glimpses of that great hole and let us see through it an incredible way of living in a new creation, a new age, a new life, with a new power for living that life – NOW! There was a “Now-ness” to this life in which the end of history had come into into the middle of history. Through the hole the resurrection of Christ left in history, we can see with the eyes of faith that God has launched the most ambitious phase of His plan to reverse the curse and repossess the world for Himself. Through this resurrection sized hole, we see that neither the devil or death is Lord, but Jesus Christ is Lord;  through it we see how our sinful condemnation can be changed into legal justification. We see that the new creation has begun and they we have been invited to join in the Family Firm of Almighty and Sons in the task of bringing the life of heaven to bear upon this sin cursed earth!

Since the resurrection/ascension event of Christ, Monday through Sunday is now holy. Every legitimate job is now sacred and is to be engaged in as a means of glorifying God, extending the kingdom and continuing to roll back the curse of sin that Jesus’ resurrection initiated.

The new age has been formed in Christ — the new age is being formed in God’s redeemed people – the new age will be formed in the whole of creation.

The blessings of Christ’s resurrection and ascension are ours now, today. Former orphaned, alien, sons of disobedience, living under rule of the prince of darkness, can now know and enjoy the presence, power, privileges and responsibilities of Sonship!

Because resurrection life is abundantly available and powerfully active, our uplook to King Jesus can be rightly focused, our outlook for ministry can be fruitfully exercised! When resurrection power fills us this hour, our obedience will be active and our outreach will be progressive, our prayers will be effective, our joy will be contagious, and our hope will be motivating!

Failure to see the world though the cross-shaped- resurrection sized hole of Jesus’ finished work and ongoing ministry leaves us void of the presence, power, provisions, and ongoing, unfolding plan of King Jesus in the NOW! This affects everything we do. It affects the way we raise our children, the education we get, the type buildings we build, the way we invest our monies, etc. It affects how we do evangelism. Instead of just attempting to rescue a few from off the sinking ship of this world, we will be discipling persons to become generational instead of terminal in their thinking. 

There is hope and help, purpose and power, joy and real job security, available and adequate – NOW! Resurrection power can fill us this hour and when it does it brings an everlasting hope, a powerful impulse, a new vitality and vigor, a new authority, a new momentum, a new joy, and a new willingness to risk all for King Jesus.

It is only as this is taking place that we will be embodying, proclaiming, and demonstrating before the world what the historical resurrection/ascension of King Jesus really looks and acts like — not just on Sunday, but seven days a week!

  My Zimbio

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