And God put all things under Christ’s feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1: 22, 23 (italics are my clarification of personal pronouns)

 

The idea here is an important one to grasp, but it is not an easy one to understand. It is even harder to actually live like this is true. God, the Father, has taken all that is this world; with its sin ravaged architecture, resultant depravity, and rebellion unto death; and He has placed it in the hands of Christ. He is the One who has overcome all of the forces and effects of humanity’s fatal turn away from God and toward the human self-god. Christ died for us, His body was fully dead, and He was literally raised from that death into life as a culminating act in God’s defeat of Satan and the contemporary and eternal effects of sin.

 

Yet, the world where we live does not much resemble a place where Satan is defeated, and sadly, too often our lives demonstrate more of sin than of Christ’s love, redemptive grace, and healing mercy. The struggle of evil against God is not over. The result of the conflict is certain, but the carnage of battle continues unabated; so, the bodies will still pile up and the pain of loss will be experienced for some time to come. I think that this is the point of what Paul is saying here. There is one way to live in this world at this time and to do this in a manner that embraces victory. This requires each person who desires to live with the assurance and the reality of this victory to enter into a relationship with the One who has overcome death, Jesus the Christ. In Christ we find eternal hope and understanding, meaning, and purpose for this life.

 

This Christ, who now stands above and victoriously on this world, is positioned by the Father as the King of this same earth where we live. The subjects of this kingdom who Christ trusts and empowers with the task of bringing God’s love and peace to bear upon this planet are those of us who accept Christ as our Savior and Lord. We are given the absolute assurance by God that nothing in this world can truly harm us, that all pain and grief are temporary, and that our submission to Christ will be made fruitful by His working through us as His body. This is our time to submit to Christ the King, today is my day to live for His kingdom, and now is the moment to surrender all of me to serve Christ. The Lord calls us to go out into the world and to live for Him as people who are victorious over sin.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1: 13, 14

 

The Easter season is a time when many things come to mind. Regardless of the exact date for Easter Sunday, this time of year marks the beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere and the start of Autumn in the southern one. For me this seasonal change is always welcome as it brings about newness by way of different colors and aromas in nature and the promise of different activities to come. Of course, Easter is a time of special remembrance and celebration in the world of the Christian church. Something very important happened in our history, and that event is perhaps the most worthy of any for us to focus our attention upon and our worship around.

 

This is the point in history when God’s plan for redemption and restoration came into full view. Until that first Easter, the Father had promised a way for people to come into an unbreakable relationship with Him, and He had provided His Son, Jesus, as the prophetically proclaimed Messiah who would bring about that permanent reconciliation. Now in a flurry of human anger and violence, the sinless Lamb of God was taken to that fulfillment on the cross, and God’s victory over the shroud of death that had covered all of creation was made full as it was torn away. As we surrender ourselves to Christ, we enter into that same escape from the eternal covering that buries us alive in the darkness of the grave. Christ cuts the shroud away from our souls and sets us free.

 

In our freedom we are new beings. We are a people who have a dwelling place in the Kingdom of God both now on earth and in eternity. The full price for our freedom that was required by a righteous God has been paid by Christ so that we are absolutely and totally redeemed from sin’s sentence of death. Now, in Christ, we have the gift of the light of the Spirit to illuminate our understanding of God’s purposes and plans. The glory of heaven penetrates into the darkness of the world so that we can know the way of God’s will for each of us. This redeemed nature, Christ in us, demands that we live in a manner that celebrates the miracle of Easter as our normal way of conducting life. As Christ has delivered us from death into life; so, we can share the story of that redemption and its freedom with a world that cries out for salvation.