Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School
C.S. Lewis was a brilliant author, and the imagery we find in his writing awakens our senses to life in the Kingdom of God. Just five months before his own death, Lewis wrote to a suffering Christian,
“Think of yourself as a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from there, will seem only a drowsy half-waking. We are here in the land of dreams.”
Because of Jesus, all is not lost even in death. In fact, Paul described death as gain in Philippians 3 because of the “surpassing worth of knowing Jesus.” Paul tells us that he wants four key things:
- To know the power of Jesus’ resurrection
- To share in Jesus’ sufferings
- To become like Jesus in his death
- That he may experience resurrection for himself
Why did Paul desire resurrection? In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul uses words similar to the “gardener” language of Lewis. Paul says, “what is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.” Further, Paul says in Philippians 3 that Jesus will “transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Incredible.
Ultimately, Paul desired resurrection because he wanted to experience more of his Savior. This resurrection body would be the “real waking” that Lewis held up to his suffering friend.
The resurrection produces an indestructible life for every believer, which means that we can enter the presence of God and experience the weight of His holiness without coming undone (Isaiah 6). The resurrection means that our joy in God will increase exponentially because He no longer has to restrain His glory. In the resurrection, Christians can finally “marvel at God’s presence” without harm (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
How was this new and indestructible life made possible for us? Easter. Jesus conquered death for us. Therefore, we can be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58) as we anticipate what Lewis described as the “real world.”
This Sunday, we celebrate all that Jesus accomplished for us. If you don’t have a church home, I hope you’ll make plans to join Tricia and me at First Baptist Orlando. You can find more information about Easter weekend services by clicking here.