Accessing Resurrection Life: It’s Closer than You Think! - David Mitts
"“Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." Joh 5:24 (NASB)
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Death and the fear of death are ubiquitous in the human experience. Mortality frightens most of us even though it is common to all of us. Death shows us how weak we are and how vulnerable we can be in our human vessel. All of us must deal with death and the fear of it on our own terms.
The atonement of our Messiah was enacted through His death. The writer of the ancient set of letters written to the Hebrew people in the dispersion, tells us:
"Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." Heb 2:14-15 (NASB)
What a powerful statement! In this verse, “the children”, which refers to us, share a common experience called mortality, being flesh and blood. Yeshua. knowing this weakness, our mortality, became mortal. As a mortal, He who was eternal, sacrificed His eternal, undying nature and experienced death.
It is hard for us as mortals to grasp the meaning of that reality. Think of something you do that is an ability of yours. Say you can run. But you are in a world of people whose legs don’t function at all. You decide to show them you love them and sacrifice your legs, chop them right off, to show your love for them and that you truly understand their plight. In that place, then you recover your legs and, in that recovery, you give them the gift of their leg recovery just because you love them.
Now, with salvation the situation is much more severe. We not only die but we also fear dying. No one has truly adjusted to that eventuality. This is because death is not actually “normal” for us. What is normal is eternal life. Yet because of sin and the mentality of sin-consciousness, we see death all the time. In this way, death while not “normal” to us, seems common as so it is. Yet, there is in each of us in our cellular memories a time before death, a time when we made in the eternal image and likeness of God.
This cellular memory is what pulls us both to the cross and to salvation. Paul explains it this way:
"Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace andof the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom 5:14-21
When Paul states that death reigned from Adam to Moses, he is speaking of a change in the cellular structure of man that resulted in the authority of death. We might ask, “why the parentheses of Adam and Moses? Adam begins a time of lawlessness, and it terminates with Moses the Law or Torah giver. Paul is clear that the impact of death was even over those who did not sin in the likeness of the transgression Adam.
What does the likeness of the transgression mean? Adam’s choice was personal, but the impact was global. So even though those born after Adam’s transgression were not able to make the same choice that he made, they were still affected by the choice through their genetics. All of us have been impacted by the presence of death in the world.
What is also true however is that in the face of the offense of Adam and the death that we all inherited, is that grace given by Yeshua is much greater. The verse says:
For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Death reigns through offense but we reign through grace and the gift of righteousness. The obedience of Yeshua brings the possibility of eternal life. We have an inheritance as sons and daughters of the King and our assignment is to rule in life.
When I look back over the present world crisis, what I don’t see is a lot of ruling in this life by the sons and the daughters. Is that because the Word of God is lying to us about ruling in life? No. I think it is because we are not following the path laid out for us by our King, Yeshua.
The book of Revelation gives us a formula for overcoming:
"Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God Day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." Rev 12:10-11
There are 3 components mentioned in this verse as keys to overcoming:
1. Blood of the Lamb
2. Word of our testimony
3. Not loving our lives “to the death”.
The Blood of the Lamb is the death sacrifice of Yeshua. Before we gloss over this, let’s remember that the life is in the blood. When we access the power of the blood, we are accessing the eternal life that was in the blood of Yeshua before He went to the cross. A fundamental truth of God’s reality is that life is in the blood.
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.'" Lev 17:11
The atonement or the great equalizer is through the blood shed to make atonement. A life is given through the blood to settle the debt incurred by sin. Yeshua gave His life through His blood and we in receiving it are not just atoned for our sin but given eternal life.
"Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." Joh 6:54
This is the overcoming by the blood of the Lamb. It’s not just that the blood gives us power in this life, it also gives us eternal life. Remember the devil works through the fear of death. We overcome the devil and his use of the fear of death by being unkillable. You cannot effectively threaten someone with death, if death has no power over them.
The second key to resurrection life is the word of our testimony. What is the word of our testimony? It is connecting within our memory, the touch of God in our lives, which is eternal, and bringing the power of our testimony to the current situation or challenge in our lives. This is the heart of gratitude in action.
Gratitude is a secret weapon of the spirit. When we are grateful and meditate on our gratitude, it activates our heart into alignment with who or what we are grateful for. It is a super weapon of the spirit. Gratitude connects us again with God’s Spirit and we realize that He is faithful. This place of trust releases Him into our lives again. This is what Paul communicated when he said:
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Php 4:6-7
The third key is not loving our lives unto death. This is the place of resurrection life. I know this sounds like lining up to die in persecution and it may come to that. I do think though that there is overcoming this side of the grave. Yeshua told us to take up our cross daily and follow Him, but obviously the cross is a one-time experience. He must have been speaking of a daily cross-like attitude. He gives us a peak into this heart attitude in Matthew 16:24-28
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man Coming in His kingdom."" Mat 16:24-28
This is a verse of contrast. Yeshua is contrasting following Him with saving our own life. The word salvation is inserted here because this is really a question of deciding our own standards for success and His standard of self-worth. He has already paralleled the pearl of great price with the salvation he is offering. He is NOT asking us to die. No! He is asking us to die to our schemes for success in this world. This is the love of our god of our own making. This is the god of public opinion, of looking great in the eyes of the crowd. He knows His cross is foolishness to the crowd. Yet he also knows that His cross is the power of salvation to those who trust in Him. Those who trust in Him do not taste the bitterness of death. They taste the sweetness of eternal life.
One final perspective and an activation:
"But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit," Jud 1:17-20
There is at work today, the agents of the accuser of the brethren. Their methodology is stir up dissent and get our conversation on evil. The Lord tells us in the book of proverbs that He hates those who sow discord among the brethren.
"These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." Pro 6:16-19
The alternative is to pray in the spirit and build up our faith. Praying in tongues is a spiritual generator. Like a power motor it enhances our spiritual power and love.
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