“I only find meaning and purpose for my life in the death and resurrection of Christ. And I only grab hold of that meaning and purpose through my own death and resurrection.”
With Easter fast approaching, I’ve been reading some concerning Christ’s death and resurrection. Below is one of my 3-column studies, modified for the blog:
1 Peter 1:13-25
(a summary in my own words)
Get ready, and try to wrap your head around this: Have some self-control. And don’t hope in anything except the grace you’ll receive when Christ returns. Just like kids grow into obedience as they begin to understand right and wrong, be obedient to God’s desires. Don’t live like you did when you were oblivious to God and his will for your life. Instead, in all you do be just like God, who drew you to himself. Be holy like he is holy, and be holy because he is holy.
Because your Father judges each man by his own work, live like a tourist in a foreign land, always mindful of who your God is and where you belong. God didn’t buy you with money, or adopt you through an agency with fees and paperwork. No, he liberated you, through the blood of his perfect son, from the empty and pointless way of life you inherited from your earthly relatives. He offered Christ in exchange for you, which he planned to do since the very beginning of time. But only recently was this plan brought to fruition, so that you could believe in God through his son — a God who was powerful to raise, and even bring glory to, a once-dead human. We know we can put our trust and hope in a God like that.
By obediently putting your faith in God, he has placed in your hearts a true love for one another. In essence, then, each of you has purified himself and become like the spotless lamb who was killed on your behalf. You have started new lives into which God, through his power, has spoken eternity. You once lived as mortals, but now death cannot touch you, because
“All men are like grass,
and their glory is like flowers;
the grass dies and the flowers rot,
but God’s word will last forever.”
This is the very word that was preached to you, and spoken into you.
What I’ve learned:
- I should be disciplined; I should exercise self-control.
- My only hope should be in Jesus Christ and his returning.
- Christian maturity is measured in obedience to God.
- I should be like God, because he is God.
- I was set free from an empty life that was going nowhere.
- This freedom was extremely costly. Jesus had to die for it.
- I should not, then, be comfortable living among those with empty lives.
- We believe in God through his Son.
- By being obedient to God, we have become pure like Jesus, who died for us.
- This obedience and purity are manifest by our love for one another.
- God spoke eternity into our new lives; now we will live forever.
As I mentioned before, I’d like to focus my thoughts from this passage on the resurrection. I was living an empty life, headed towards certain death — which is really no life at all. Jesus was living life as it was intended by the Father, an eternal life full of purpose. In order to give my life meaning, and to rescue me from certain death, God altered his son’s direction and brought on him (an undeserved) death.
But God’s plan didn’t stop there. By his power, he raised his son from the dead and glorified him, defeating once and for all death, though it still reigns for now on this earth. Through Jesus’ death, we are adopted by God to be his children. And through God’s power to resurrect, we are given a new life that is eternal.
- The resurrection demonstrates God’s great power over death.
- The resurrection is witness to God giving glory to those who were once dead.
- The resurrection reveals God’s ability to fill with purpose our once empty lives.
- The resurrection is a testimony of God’s desire to speak eternity into mankind.
- The resurrection is proof that our hope is secure only when it is in God.
- The resurrection is motivation for us to live as strangers on earth.
- The resurrection offers us the opportunity to experience, and share with one another, true love.
- The resurrection provides us with the ability to be holy as God is holy.
Other Items of Note:
- Paul makes it clear that the maturity of believers is measured by obedience to God and love for one another. We are to be holy just like God is holy, and because God is holy. He then explains that only through Christ’s death and resurrection is it possible for us to achieve this end. Christ’s death and resurrection is the catalyst for our holiness; it is the motivation for our holiness; and only in it can we find the power to have this holiness.
- It is interesting that I only find meaning and purpose for my life in the death and resurrection of Christ. And I only grab hold of that meaning and purpose through my own death and resurrection.
- Because of who I am in Christ, I shouldn’t be comfortable with life on this earth. The lives of those around me are empty and trivial. I should find no satisfaction in living like them. Rather, I should be uncomfortable with their lives to the point that I desire to show them a better way. My life as a stranger here should point to Christ’s death and resurrection, and my own death and resurrection should point others to true life in Christ.
Questions I Have:
- Are we too comfortable on earth? Why or why not?
- Can others tell our lives are full of meaning, while theirs are not?
- What benefit / result of the resurrection resounds with us today? Which ones have we forgotten?