Are We Living Captivated by the Resurrection?
Words by Hannah Waddell
God says there is purpose in designating time for renewal and remembrance of who he is and what he has done. Easter is one such pinnacle time in the life of the believer. We are compelled to re-discover childlike delight in Jesus. We seek re-direction in repentance by asking God to search and know our hearts and minds (Ps. 139:23).
We desire to be true worshipers the Father seeks—who worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). We revive this deep worship when we allow the reality of the resurrection to captivate our mind’s attention and kindle our heart’s affection.
As we read in the gospels, those who encountered the resurrected Savior were captured—heart and mind—by his glorious fullness (John 1:14–16; 20:19–20). 2,000 years later, his fullness is still ours to receive. His glory is all around us—if we have the eyes to behold it. This Easter let us narrow our vision and lay aside lesser pursuits by asking: Are we living captivated by the resurrection?
Captivating Our Attention
We need reminders of the resurrection filling our minds like our bodies need blood pumping through our hearts. Without the truth of Christ’s resurrection, our faith could not survive or thrive. Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). The oxygenated blood flowing from the heart cannot sit stagnant, but affects every cell in the body. In the same way, the impacts of the resurrection are not dormant theologies, but the very essence of life, infiltrating all we are and all we do.
Yet, as sinners often distracted and drifting, how do we re-captivate our minds with the magnitude of Jesus’ blood poured out and body raised up for us? As we recount the spiritual gifts sealed by the resurrection, we are “stirring up [our] sincere mind[s] by way of reminder” (2 Peter 3:1) that because the Son of God lives:
- We walk in newness of life. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, 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).
- Jesus sits enthroned at the Father’s right hand, ever interceding for us.“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 8:34b).
- We have the Holy Spirit to guide, convict, and lead us into truth. “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses … and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:32–33).
- We have hope of an eternal inheritance in heaven.“According to [God’s] great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3–4).
As our minds are “stirred up” with truth, we find our hearts also stirred to overwhelming affection— not just for the resurrection as an event but for the One who is the resurrection—Jesus Christ.
Kindling Our Affection
The resurrection will unavoidably awaken hearts deeply in love with the One who loved us first. For those who have been rescued and chosen by Christ, his undeserved death on a cross brings us pain, while his bodily resurrection brings us unspeakable joy.
Our Beloved is alive!
Jesus claimed his rightful victory and “will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him” (Romans 6:9b). How can we keep from praising, knowing the One we treasure went home to heaven exalted in glory and crowned in trinitarian love? Entering into this infinite and perfect love is offered to us through Christ!
In pursuing new heights of love for Christ, we can learn from the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47). Affection for Jesus spills out of humble hearts like hers that look within, remembering the miry sin we have been pulled from. In brokenness and repentance, we too fall at the feet of Jesus surrendered in faith and driven by love.
Yet, lasting love is only possible if our attention and affection are committed to that which we intend to love. As our knowledge of God grows, our love for God grows. Our self-serving culture often encourages us to follow either our heart or mind. We declare instead that the Lord deserves all of our hearts, souls, and minds in fierce pursuit of him (Matt. 22:37). These 300-year-old words from “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” resound in praise to our Savior:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all
So, how can we stir our minds and hearts towards Christ this Easter in worship?
We drink deeply from God’s Word and pray deeply for our hearts to be flooded with adoration for Christ. As we experience this overflow, we disperse God’s grace all around us as we seek meaningful ways to share resurrection hope with others.
In all that you do, make a lifestyle of the one command mentioned more than 150 times in the Bible: to remember.
Remember the pain in Jesus’ death on a bloodstained cross as an offering for your sin.
Remember the overwhelming glory of his resurrection securing your eternal hope.
Remember that he is seated at the right hand of God in power.
Remember that there is no true life apart from Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life forever. Amen!