PFOA: How is the resurrection relevant to me now? (Col 2:11-15)
"In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Col 2:11-15 NIV).
A few days ago we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Death has been conquered, Jesus has the final victory! (1 Cor. 15:55,56). Our Christian faith hinges on this historical fact (1 Cor. 15:12-19). This week I was watching an Australian TV programme - QandA. At the end of the programme each of the panelist was asked "Do the events of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which lie at the heart of the Easter season, have any relevance to contemporary society 2,000 years after they took place?" Among the five panellists were a former Foreign Minister; an author & social analyst; and a British Violin Virtuoso, who declared themselves variously as an atheist, agnostic, lapsed Catholic or socialist. Each of them was very respectful, but basically said that it irrelevant to them personally. They conceded that for those who believe it, it was alright. This is trendy and typical of many opinion leaders today.
Notice in the Colossians passage that as Christians, we have "been raised" with Christ. We are not waiting for the physical resurrection. Our sins are forgiven, we are alive with Christ. And He also has disarmed the powers and authorities, made a public spectacle of them, and triumphed over them by the cross. What is this public spectacle? How is it seen in the world today? If the church is the community of God's people, it must demonstrate this victory over sin and that Satan no longer has any power or authority over God's people.
Again Paul tells the church how this is accomplished. "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Col. 3:12-17 NIV).