He is risen! Why the resurrection power needs to come alive in life

Catholic Archbishop Phillip Anyolo leads faithful in the 'Way of the Cross Walk' to mark Good Friday along Parliament road, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

The resurrection is an extraordinary occurrence. A church founded on it must therefore exhibit conspicuous abnormality or ‘madness’.

The early church was a threat to the religious order and many were amazed that though Jesus was no longer physically present, the phenomenon of ‘his name’ was escalating the movement to unstoppable levels. It was as if killing Jesus made things ‘worse’!

Extraordinariness based on the resurrection is observed in the relationships within the Christian community, the church’s earthly vision and its execution and the impact of the outcome. 

Whether the contemporary church exhibits this resurrection energy and quality is questionable. Popularised and sensational doctrines such as prosperity gospel have made the church stray from its profound doctrinal premises such as the resurrection.

A continuous engagement of this miraculous event yields a church whose mission and impact mirror the intensity of the resurrection. The other lane is to transfer the resurrection to a mystical realm and restrict its remembrance to biblical narratives without delving into its contextual application. A church that minimises the resurrection will inevitably lose altitude and fly way too low for its call.  

At the cross, Evil put up its best act — a concoction of hate and lies — to get Jesus and his mission nailed to the cross. The plan was to reduce Jesus to death and that way put Him out of play. But Jesus reappeared as the resurrected one.

Darkness — that kills, steals and destroys — is not itself above the death and destruction it propagates. Darkness recruits people to its own fate — death.

Unlike Samson who prayed to die with his enemies, the devil preys to die with his servants. The destroyer ultimately self-destructs. The thief even breaks into himself! The killer does not transcend the killer status. Instead, the killer becomes a victim of his own killer plans.

This knowledge should make the church mock the schemes of darkness and snide demon-sponsored projects. With the resurrection, the Lord of the church stands on a raised ground which darkness can never get to.

The resurrection permanently positions the Christian ahead of darkness. The speed of light cannot be attained by the speed of darkness. Darkness will ever lag. This should be the confidence of God’s people — darkness may be intense but it is limited in what it can do.  

Jesus is the judge who corrects unfair judgments. In a world where justice is demoted to a cash transaction instead of a celebration of truth, the risen Christ is the judge who makes right every unfair ruling.

Jesus’ resurrection overrules every injustice. Let the government be on his shoulders! A victim of injustice as a man, Jesus resurrects as God who presides over justice. Agents wanted! The church is the first agency of His justice. It is therefore out of order for injustice to happen in the community and the church remains mum. It is criminal for the church to be a peddler of injustice. The church in the world is expected to have a reputation that leans towards justice.

Resurrection pumps Christians with confidence. They become official peddlers of hope. The type of hope is unlike the popular positive thinking. It is a hope powered by resurrection thinking.

Emanating from the resurrection, this hope proclaims that despite intimidating powers and brilliant minds, God’s plan will be the harbour where life must anchor. Though there be seemingly more impressive rivers — like Naaman’s Abana and Pharpar — it is only in the river of God that healing will come. 

Because of the root in the resurrection, we should speak boldly to the most vibrant of devils and tell of their downfall. We do not do so because of mere dislike but because evil is destined to be overtaken by what is right.

This truth is open to all but it does not need many takers to pass. This truth does not run on popularity and market share — it is about the order of things — God will prevail. The same way sponsors of the crucifixion were overtaken, so shall everything that does not align to the truth of God.

That Jesus chose to appear on earth rather than expressly ascend affirms the vision of the Kingdom of God on earth. Experiencing a resurrected Christ did not only revive the disciples but gave them a type of energy they had never experienced before — a resurrection type.

Disciples following the resurrected Christ inspire hope even in the lowest of situations. The resurrection-driven church should take on issues in the community that earn it the name ‘stunt master’.

A resurrection-fired church should be known for ambition, conquest and exemplariness. A hopeless church needs to retrace its resurrection doctrine to find its fire.  

Because the resurrection throws darkness into disarray, the church should boldly stand against evil on the strength of the empty tomb. If death has been defeated, works and schemes of darkness can be scattered.

The church should not be scared by assaults of darkness nor be impressed by its pomp. The resurrection is a loud event that says to the church “Do not be afraid.” The resurrection builds fearlessness. By virtue of the resurrected Christ living powerfully both in the Christian and in the faith community, demons must tremble.

The resurrection confirms the words of Jesus when He said He would suffer, die and rise again. The complete fulfillment of these words should intensify loyalty as it affirms that what Jesus says is true.  

A timid church betrays the resurrection. A church that does not run on resurrection power will be mowed down easily by other powers — including political.

A resurrection-conscious church has a more robust self-identity and its mission earns respect in the community. The resurrection is not a phenomenon to put a frame on and hang on a wall! It is meant to be a moment by moment power supply. Without application, the church is weak and its mission dim.

The resurrection power being the most forward power places the church in a place to lead while others follow. But as things are, mostly the politicians ‘tow’ the priest and the church to a destination of their liking. The church is then recruited into the sales team of the party. Such is the identity crisis. A resurrection-powered church should have politicians joining and following its vision.

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