AfterGlow: Resurrection Now (Nov-Dec 1999)

By Matt Dabbs

by Phillip Morrison
November – December 1999

It will be the greatest news story of all time, and there won’t be anybody to report it. No jumbo headlines, no satellite TV images beamed around the world, no magazine special issues. Yet all the world will be fully aware.

While Jesus’ followers were still trying to comprehend the reality of his resurrection, he ascended to the Father and they heard the angelic promise of his return (Acts 1:10-11). Scripture declares that “the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). There will be no need for explanations of the story for we’ll be in the story.

Resurrection is not, however, just a future event. Critics of Christianity have often charged that it neglects the problems of here and now and focuses on “pie in the sky by and by.” Yes, we look forward to our Lord’s return and to our resurrection in immortal, incorruptible, eternal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:52-56). Meanwhile, we witness and experience resurrections from the death and despair of sin’s consequences every day.

In my church family there is a woman who has overcome the demons of childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual addiction to build a new life in Christ. In addition to experiencing personal resurrection, she now helps other victims realize that they also can have new life. Of course the worry lines are still in her face and the scars are forever etched on her heart. The Great Physician specializes in healing, not cosmetology.

Our family includes a man who, as a teenager, announced that he was an atheist. More than three decades later, he tearfully reclaimed and declared his faith in God. A brilliant man of science, he’ll tell you that nothing he knows is as important as what he believes. He’ll also tell you that resurrection is more than anticipation of the future.

And I’m in that family. Committed from childhood to a life of Christian Service, I have faltered and fallen time and again. But each time I have felt the gentle touch of Jesus as he picked me up, gave me new strength, and set my feet once again on the path he pioneered.

The sound of God’s trumpet will be heard throughout all the earth, and this time the shout of God’s angels will be heard far beyond Bethlehem. What a day that will be!

While we wait for that great resurrection day, we experience smaller resurrections every day. Every one is precious for every one marks a new beginning.

I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
An all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never be put on again.

There is such a land, Louisa Fletcher, and our Father waits over the way. Meanwhile, he gives us foretastes of glory by loving us, redeeming us, and giving us the new starts life so often requires.Wineskins Magazine

Phillip Morrison

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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