Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Cross, the Resurrection; the Inward and Outward Life

TROUBLED am I when I hear people getting choosey in their passions for theology.
I get suspicious when I hear people putting too much emphasis on the cross and not enough on the resurrection, and vice versa, but, in that, I acknowledge my bias is toward the cross. I, too, need to abide in Jesus by abiding in balance.
But there is an interesting nuance in relation to the cross and the resurrection of Jesus that I believe the Holy Spirit revealed: the inward movement of the cross-life and the outward movement of the resurrection-life.
Both cross-life and resurrection-life are crucial for the believer.
The Cross-Life and Inward Sanctity
As we come before the cross of Jesus — aright, in reverence — we notice the cross does something to us to make us attuned to the Presence of God now surging within us!
The cross-life compels us to understand that Jesus submitted, not only to his Father, but to the whole of humanity. So what is the cross-life to mean for us? Nothing easier. Nothing different. The cross-life forces us upward. The cross-life compels us to commune with and to rely upon God.
The cross-life is inward sanctity.
The cross-life, within a church community context, also, is care! The church needs to be inward focused. Jesus Christ is the head of the church and so the church much care as Jesus did. The church cannot simply be outward focused.
The Resurrection-Life and Outward Resolve
As we realise that Jesus is God because of the resurrection we come to know a very important detail about our faith; we all have a resurrection to look forward to. The resurrection is proof of heaven. The resurrection-life, therefore, is exigent and powerful; it is the miracle that is about to happen.
The resurrection-life must, however, be underpinned in the cross-life. If we are to be purposed aright, and the resurrection-life is purpose, then we must ensure we are oriented in a way that abides in Jesus, which is the will of God.
We need inner sanctity as our base for the outward resolve of verve for the Kingdom. But we can have inner sanctity without outward resolve and that is a travesty like wheels spinning without purpose.
The resurrection-life for a church is what the church is there for: to win lost souls for God. When people encounter the incarnational life of God in a believer they cannot help but be curious about what faith can do for them.
The cross and the resurrection are equally important in the believer’s life. The cross creates inner sanctity within, whereas the resurrection compels outward resolve for the Kingdom.
What is faith? The cross and the resurrection.
The cross is Jesus’ example of submission. Christ’s resurrection is victory and dominion over death and darkness. We have this resurrection power only when we bear our cross.

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