With Christ, We’ve Been Raised to New Life!

Treasuring God’s Gifts:
You’ve Been Raised to New Life!  
So Set Your Eyes on God Alone

Exodus 6:1-6, Col. 3:1-4

In Jesus Name

As we think about the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, because we know of the Grace of God our Father, may we realize it is our resurrection as well, and knowing that, may we live life focused on Him.

 

Jesus is the Way….

One of the things I am in awe of, is the way in which Jesus deals with those who doubt, especially those who are bluntly, like the Apostle Thomas.  With one exception, Thomas is always pictured as the one who doubts, the one who struggles with his faith in God.

Each time we see Thomas struggling, Jesus turns it into a moment to minister to Thomas, to strengthen Thomas, to build his confidence that God is at work. Because the gospels record the words of some of these circumstances, Jesus ministers to us as well. One of those stories is seen in John’s gospel, chapter 14.

Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.     John 14:5-6 (NLT)

We talk about those words a lot, or at least we quote them, usually in regards to conversations about providing that Jesus is the only way to the Father.  Or that it is “His way or the Highway”.    Today though, we are going, in view of His death and resurrection, we are going to see that this is literally true, and not just figuratively….

That Paul’s words to the church in Colossians, and the words recorded by Moses in Exodus, are talking about this very thing.

That because Jesus is the way, because we’ve been raised to new life in Him

The Decalog –

The LAW I’ve Rescued you, I am God – No other God’s

We’ve been travelling through the decalog, through what we commonly call the Ten Commandments since Ash Wednesday.  As we’ve gone through each, we’ve realize that God didn’t give the commandments to restrict our lives, but to show us how we live life in Him, a life God considers and makes a masterpiece.

We finally get to the beginning, to the core of the message, to the one that resonates with the fact that jesus is “the Way.”  The first word that we usually hear as, “THOU SHALT NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.

We always hear it with a deep rumbly voice reminiscent of James Earl Jones, or maybe Darth Vader, going onto describe all the ways in which we create false gods, all the ways we create idols, and worship the things which we create.

Luther was correct in talking about the close connection between worshipping these idols, these false gods, and our putting our trust in them.  For surely he points out – that is what an idol is, what we primarily trust with our lives.  We put our trust in all sorts of things to bless us, to bring us peace, to protect us, to prosper us.

An idol is what we run to first in times of trial, it is where we find the support we need to keep on going, that which is bigger than us, even if we have to lie to self and say we can do it on our own.

We may not make our idols out of wood or clay or stone any longer, but that doesn’t make them any more reliable.  The are the things that run our lives, that we give power over us, that convince us that we will make it, that we shall survive this and that we might even prosper

Money can be our God, or some possession. Perhaps a relationship, or even a vision of what our life should be like and what it takes to serve that vision.  Paul touches on it, when he tells the church folk in Colossae to set their sight on Heaven, on God’s reality.  For idols grab out attention, they put a lockdown, a stranglehold on our hearts and minds.  These things cause envy, they division, they cause pain and unfaithfulness, they wreck out relationships, they cause us to distrust and dishonor authorities, they rob us of rest, and distract us on calling God for help.

Idolatry, having these other gods, including the god of self, lies at the heart of every other sin we have to deal with in our lives. Idols can obscure and attempt to destroy the masterpiece God has planned for our lives.

        You don’t need any other God:  I AM HE

No wonder he says, “Have no other gods,”

He doesn’t want us damaged by them, when they prove to be not our creator, but our creations.  God wants more than just well-behaved people who hide their brokenness.  He wants His kids, even if that means cleaning up their mess at the cost of Jesus.

Remember when I said the commandment was far more than just the “Have no other gods?”

The first word, the first “commandment” starts with the bold text in verse 2 of Exodus 20.

 

2  I am GOD, your God, who saved you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. 3  No other gods, only me.

Eqypt, the land of 1000 gods, the land where even the King, the Pharoah was considered a god.  We’d never do that, would we? Egypt, the land of idols, and idolatry.

The land of sin.

What is your Egypt?  What is the earthly place where sin rules, where temptation gets you, where life isn’t truly living, because you live in captivity.  What is it that in dieing and rising Jesus you’ve been rescued from?

He has rescued us, it has happened, He has sent Jesus to die, not just to pay for the sins which divide us from Him, but because as we are united to Him, in His death and resurrection, we are united to God and brought into the presence of God.

That is why Paul tells us we are hidden with Jesus Christ and therefore in God. I love the Greek there – the word hidden is the word we get encrypted, We are guarded protected, and even all of the hackers in the world can’t corrupt what God’s given us.

That is why we set our eyes on heavenly things – because that is where we are in Christ – that is where life is, where reality is.  We are the children of God, raised with Christ Jesus, just as our sin was put to death with Him at the cross.  We trust Him at His promise, we know that what we deal with here is simply temporary, but reality is lived united to Christ.  Saved from the idols, sure, but raised to live in the presence of God Almighty

We have no other go because we don’t need one… we have the God who came to us, made himself known to us.
You, revealed with Hm in Glory!

        Because of the cross and resurrection

Jesus is not just a way, He didn’t set us on the way, but He is the way we get to the Father. We get to the Father because we are united to Him, and travel with Him through His death and resurrection.  in Him we encounter the holiness of God, the glory of God.

That is why this day, as we celebrate the fact that God has raised Jesus is so critical.  In Him we died to sin, in Him we have been raised to life.  The resurrection is more than just history,  because we find life in Christ. United to Him we are brought to the Father… where we are revealed to be the very children of God…where we find ourselves being healed of our brokenness.

That’s the promise of our lives, it has been since our baptism.

He is our way, our truth and our life…. And because of that, Paul can tell us

4  And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.Colossians 3:4 (NLT)

All His glory, revealed as the place where we shall be, for this is what we’ve been promised, it is why we are hidden and protected, encrypted in Christ.

So look to Him, keep focused on God, know Him, trust these promise of God.  For there is His indescribable glory, we find His indescribable peace, a peace that keeps us there… for we are encrypted, hidden in Christ.

For Alleluia, He is risen

And therefore….we are risen indeed!

 

 

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on April 20, 2014, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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