How would you like a living God? Have you had enough of Christian deism? By Christian deism I mean the prevalent but never admitted view that God is by and large irrelevant and uninvolved. You can tell if you are a Christian deist if you rarely pray (He doesn’t hear it anyway), if you hardly read the Bible (what difference would it make?), if you are sloppy about obedience (I’m forgiven so it doesn’t matter), and if you go around in vague malaise (I’m pretty much on my own down here until Christ returns).
God takes great pains to tell us He is alive and involved, even this moment acting on your behalf as you read this column.
“… Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Romans 8:34)
See the piling on of present tense references to Jesus here. True, we do not see Him in the flesh right now, but He is somewhere, as surely as your husband is spatially somewhere at this moment, albeit out of eyeshot.
Jesus died, but “more than that.” He was raised. A camera positioned there at the tomb could have taken the picture.
But even more than that: He then took His position as ruler at God’s right hand. What does that involve? We don’t know everything it involves but have substantial hints: He is busy parceling out gifts (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12), He is busy giving out wisdom and knowledge (Ephesians 17), He is busy releasing power toward those who believe (Ephesians 1:19), He is busy orchestrating all strands of your life for your good if you love Him (Romans 8:28). The real time interceding work of Jesus for you is of the same nature as what He did for Peter when He knew Peter was about to be tempted majorly (Luke 22:31).
Jesus didn’t die to be irrelevant and uninvolved in your life. Here is the end for which He died:
“For to this end, Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Romans 14:9).
He wants to be your Lord. And that’s a good thing, not a tyrannical thing, because, like Bob Dylan sang, “You gotta serve somebody,” so why not serve the One whose commands bring you into a deeper intimacy with joy?
He died and was raised to enable you to soar:
“… just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
Doesn’t a little newness of life sound good about now? It is accessible by belief.