Castles and Calvary

There is a difference between resisting an enemy and defeating an enemy. Both require a great amount of strategy and work. Both require a great investment of emotional and physical strength. The most difficult enemy to face is one that cannot be ultimately defeated, though they may have set-backs they just will not go away!

When it comes to the sin of our carnal flesh, we can either suppress that sin or by the grace of God defeat it. Suppressing it is easier than defeating it. Even the Pharisees could suppress their outward sin. But as we know the Lord looks at the heart. I believe that most Christians spend a lot of time suppressing their sin. Why? Because it’s easier to build up walls of defense against an enemy compared to sharpening your sword and going out to kill the enemy. This is what I believe American Christianity has been boiled down to: “Do not touch, do not taste”.

But is there more?

Defeating sin comes at a great price. That price has been paid. That price was the precious blood of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ. His gift of salvation is free, but the life lived to Him afterward is not. It comes at a great cost. For Christ to defeat sin He had to leave His heavenly dwelling – His castle, if you will. He came low. He came humble. He came and dwelt among the sweat and dirt of mankind. He came as low as He possibly could, thereby, fully surrendering EVERYTHING defensible against the pain of life and the influence of the evil one.

Christ’s picture of defeat is our template for victory. No, we don’t have to die for our sins, but we must die to self. We have to surrender everything to the One who has the victory. If we want the victory we must fully embrace the Victorious One. We must, by the grace of God, fully surrender every of our lives, embrace the Lamb that we may share in HIS defeat of sin that we may truly live.

What is the cost of victory? Everything.

Some Earthly Good

Resurrected bodies, a new earth, authority in the age to come, a 1380 mile city – these are things that are on mind during this week as I remember the death and resurrection of Christ.

Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it cannot bear fruit. Christ went into that ground. And His death, yea, His life will bear much fruit. He is the Great Forerunner, a first-fruits of mankind, a foretaste of what awaits the faithful. The death that Adam sowed into humanity Christ has defeated, AND more importantly, He has brought us life and life abundant.

What does the resurrection show us?

The Resurrection shows us that our faith is not dead and what is going to happen to us. It shows that Christ has power over eternal death, not just of the soul, but the soul and the body. He died not just to redeem the souls of mankind but the bodies. Weird.

There were some odd things that happened after the resurrection and we need not be left with the image of a glowing tomb as the finale. Namely, He was on the earth for a month and 10 days after the stone rolled away. He taught extensively on the kingdom during this time (Oh to hear that!). He appeared to many and we know there were at least 500 were eyewitnesses of His return from death. He could eat food and He could cook food. He had flesh and bones. Let me say that again: Christ NOW has flesh and bones…in heaven. He is the only One in heaven currently outfitted with a flesh and bone frame.

He was not fully spirit and He was not fully flesh; or better said, He was fully spirit and fully flesh, a Heavenly Man. There were dimensions of both supernatural and natural activities during His 40-day-stay.

What does this mean? Paul tells us what it means, John does too. It means that we will have a body like Christ’s. We won’t look exactly like Him, but we will be outfitted with a fully supernatural and natural frame. We’ll be able to walk through walls and yet eat food. Why? Because we’ll be spending eternity on a renewed earth. You’ll need that peppy upgrade to interact with heaven on earth. The spirit and the natural will be joined, forever (Eph 1:10).

Sorry, no floaty cloud for you. If you’ve always wanted to escape earth, you’d better rethink your eternal habitat.