Isn’t it remarkable that in a world so determinedly secular, our dating system is still defined by the coming of Jesus Christ?
And, in a metaphorical sense too, you do either live BC or AD. That is to say, you live with or without the awareness of Christ and his resurrection. Make no mistake, the resurrection is the defining moment of history. Everything swivels upon that one fulcrum.
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” (Colossians 1 MSG)
So if you take that world-changing fact on board; and if, in Peterson’s masterly paraphrase, “you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ…” then there are two immediate behavioural consequences.
There’s a negative and a positive.
Peterson puts the negative like this: “Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.”
It sounds rather like a caterpillar, munching his way through the greenery, with no idea of the coming change that is ahead of him. The life of the butterfly awaits!
It’s also the story of our lives. Our default position is a self-absorbed, self-centred obsession. When Jesus told the crowd (in Matthew 6) not to worry about what they ate or drank or wore, he was pooh-poohing the basic content of every magazine on sale in Tesco today. Why bother about any of that stuff? You have more important things to do.
So what are those “important things”?
The positive behaviour shift is to “Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”
That last word is the key. It’s a total change of perspective. It’s a paradigm shift.
In 1 Corinthians 15: 14-19, Paul explores this in detail. What is it like, he says, if Christ didn’t rise from the dead?
“If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Then he adds four vital words. “But Christ DID rise…” and all of a sudden, every negative in the preceding paragraph has been flipped over into its positive counterpart. The BC has become AD. So “Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”
Here’s the Resurrection Perspective: our witness is not useless, but fruitful. Our testimony is true and not false. Our faith is genuine and we are not in our sins! Hallelujah! We are not to be pitied – we are to be envied.
Look up, and be alert to what is going on. Don’t get absorbed in the bits and pieces of BC life. Look to Christ, for that’s where the action is!