Holy Week has come and gone. The tomb is empty. Easter and the joyful shouts of “He is Risen!” after facing the sober reality of the cross on Good Friday have faded. We carry on with our routines and busy schedules, getting ready to enjoy our summers.
We know that the death and resurrection of Jesus changed everything for our world and for us individually. He is risen indeed. But now what?
What does Jesus’ resurrection truly mean for us and our world?
I look around and see a world still broken. I see a world still held captive to sin, unwilling to fully embrace the freedom Christ won for us on the cross. The world is still blind, running after things that do not fulfill and fighting battles that no longer need to be fought.
I look around and I think that this is not the world God had in mind at the beginning. We have not yet returned to “very good” (Genesis 1). Christ did the work on the cross and proved his victory in his resurrection, so why is the world still so dark, even after glimpsing the light of a God or radical love and sacrifice?
Part of believing in the future picture of the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught about is acknowledging that we still have a problem. God in his relational nature and wisdom has invited us in on his already-not-yet, redeeming work of bringing the kingdom more and more into our present and future reality. It is not unlike being in a tug-of-war game.
Humanity does not see the future well. There is a reason the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” exists. I believe that our future is secure in the already-established-and-coming-into-its-fullness Kingdom of God.
We have much to hope for. And we have much to do with the help of God.
The Great Commission
Before leaving this earth, Jesus gave his followers a mission. It has come to be known as the “Great Commission” in Christian faith circles. It is our mandate, the last words of Christ after he rose from the dead, proving his victory over sin and Satan.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” – Matthew 18:18-20
I love these verses. They contain both a mission and a promise. We are to go, do, make disciples, baptize, and teach what Jesus taught. And the presence of Jesus is with us always. What an incredible gift!
Our Role in the Kingdom of God
Based on the Great Commission and the rest of my reading of scripture, combined with looking around at the brokenness in the world, I believe that it is time for the church to get to work. It starts with us- doing one thing to love someone well, to care for the hurting and display God’s love in baby steps and inspiring the bigger ones. We start with ourselves.
And then we form the body of Christ, in the united understanding that we are better together, despite our brokenness, shining the beauty of God’s heart for this world through what we say, do and how we treat people.
Church, we have work to do. Let’s get to it.