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Good Friday has come and gone. Easter has come and gone.
Well, that depends on your view of Easter. If you view Easter as a Christian metaphor about newness of life and hope for tomorrow, then you can pretty much go on as you were, trying to be a good person (or not) with your vague hopes for tomorrow.
[Christ’s Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, by Alexander Ivanov. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.]
But if you believe that Jesus was literally, physically, permanently raised from death
like Dawn and me then the resurrection can and should have huge life-changing implications for your tomorrow. And by life-changing, I mean both how God changes your life, and how you seek to change.
Here’s eight “Now what?” implications every new believer in Jesus’ resurrection should think about. This isn’t a to-do list, it’s a to-think-study-pray-about-what-it-all-means list. This will take a lifetime, so I recommend you get a Bible, find a church, and get started.
1. Theological Questions
the•ol•o•gy – the study of who God is and what He says
Who is God, anyway? What is He like? Is God a “he?” What’s His big plan? What does He want from me? How do I find out? These theological questions are the most important you’ll ever ask, and are foundational to everything you believe about… well, everything. In fact, all of the issues below ultimately lead back to theological questions.
2. Religious Questions
re•li•gion – a set of beliefs and worship practices related to God
Why did God create me? How does God want me to worship Him? How can I know Him? How do I talk to Him? How do I hear Him? How should I serve Him? What’s Jesus got to do with it? What’s the church got to do with it? Is religion a separate, isolated component of my life? Does it have anything to do with my career? My family? My hobbies and vacations? And
btw what happens to me when I die?
3. Moral Questions
mo•ral•i•ty – the distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil
Who decides right and wrong? Are there absolutes? Is truth and right relative? Where does evil come from? Does it affect me? Am I good or evil or some of both? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do they happen to me? Can I keep doing what I do? Should I change something? Am I okay as I am?
4. Psychological Questions
psy•chol•o•gy – the study of the human mind and how it affects behavior
Who am I? I mean… really? What’s my value? On what basis am I valued? Am I good, or bad, or something in between? What do I make of all the loving, hateful, proud, insecure, confident, fearful thoughts in my head? Was I made this way? Am I normal? Do others think this way? Will I get better? How should I think? How should I feel?
5. Sociological Questions
so•ci•ol•o•gy – the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society
Where do I belong? How do I fit in? How should I view non-Christians? What if I dislike some Christians? Can I be a Christian on my own? What if I like non-Christians? Can I marry a non-Christian? What if I already did?
6. Cultural Questions
cul•ture – the customs, norms, arts, and institutions of a social group
Is my culture good or evil or both? Should I reject my culture (like a hermit or the Amish) or embrace it as a man/woman of the world, or something in between? What’s permissible? What’s forbidden? What’s up to me? What does God expect of me? How will I know?
7. Missional Questions
mis•sion – an assignment, purpose, goal or ambition
What’s my purpose? Why did Jesus die? Why was He raised? Why did God do this for me? What do I do about it now? Do I have an assignment? What should my ultimate goals be?
8. Devotional Questions
de•vo•tion – love or loyalty to a person, activity or cause
Where does my ultimate allegiance lie? Where does my ultimate satisfaction come from? What does it mean to say, “I am a Christian?” What will it cost me to be a follower of Jesus? What cost am I willing to pay?
As I said at the top of this post, none of this matters much if you believe “He is risen!” is just a metaphor. But if you believe as we believe, then you would be wise to wrestle with these things, often, and repeatedly, throughout your Christian journey.
May grace and peace be your travel companions.
What has the resurrection compelled you to re-think?
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