I am often hesitant to send out messages on holidays because I see these holy days used so often as marketing tools for the organized church. But on my prayer walk this morning the Lord spoke to me a special word that reveals how He sees us in respect to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
He led me to Ephesians 2:4–7:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We must learn to see things through the eyes of an eternal God who is not affected by time or space but sees into the eternal realm where His truth prevails above all presumptions of men. As He gives us grace to do that, we are able to see the wonder behind Paul’s words where he declares that God “. . . made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” It is clear that our redemption is much more than being freed from the power of sin and death. It is about being placed “in Christ Jesus.” Bodily we still walk on earth but in the spirit we are in Christ with Him there on His throne in the heavenly places.
This speaks of our authority in Christ. Redemption has returned us to the place of our authority on this rebellious planet. Often I will hear people say in regard to the negative things taking place that “God is still on the throne.” I am pleased to announce that this is true and that we are seated there with Him in Christ in the spirit. He has given us free will and moral authority as His sons and daughters of the King.
The next words in this passage tell us why God has done this wonderful thing. Paul says it is “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” God wants to show off the amazing riches of His grace which He has demonstrated in our lives through His Son and He wants to do it throughout all of the ages to come. He is shoving His thumb into the face of Satan and His minions who steal, kill and destroy and do all they can to condemn humanity and bring it to its knees. All other knees will eventually bow to Him but His children now by His grace sit with Him in Christ Jesus.
This is what ekklesia (often translated church) is all about. The ekklesia is not a human organization controlled by the whims of men with their own agendas. It is the called-out body of those who are given authority to exercise His will on earth. It is an organic, Christ-filled body of people living by faith and accomplishing exploits in the name of Jesus. It is that ekklesia of which Jesus said, “I will build My church (ekklesia); and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18). He will have the last word over Hades and death through His ekklesia.
So as you go out tomorrow on Easter Sunday see the whole thing through the eyes of God. See Christ raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of His Father. Then see yourself seated there with Him in Christ Jesus. See if that makes a difference in how you see the resurrection of our Lord. His resurrection was also our resurrection to a new life in Christ. Over two millennia ago the world was dramatically changed by this amazing victory over death. Perhaps it’s time for His followers to rise from their coffins of religion and carry the life of Christ to those who are lost and dying. The world around us would be dramatically changed again if we simply saw ourselves through the eyes of the Father.