We live in the anticipation of the life to come in Christ. We say it Sunday after Sunday that Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty and that someday He will come again to judge the living and the dead. The last Sunday of the church year, the Sunday before we begin the Advent season we think about this return as judge. It can be an uncomfortable subject and Sunday for some.
I always remember Paul’s letter to the Colossian’s the 3rd chapter.
“Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things, for you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Listen to what Martin Luther said about Colossians . “According to Paul in the text, this nobly-wrought and precious resurrection of Christ essentially must be, not an idle tale of fancy, futile as a dead hewn-stone or painted-paper image, but a powerful energy working in us a resurrection through faith–an experience he calls being risen with Christ; in other words, it is dying unto sin, being snatched from the power of death and hell and having life and happiness in Christ. In the second chapter (verse 12), the apostle puts it plainly, “buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
If, Paul says, ye have apprehended by faith the resurrection of Christ and have received its power and consolation, and so are risen with him, that resurrection will surely be manifest in you; you will feel its power, will be conscious of its working within. The doctrine will be something more than words; it will be truth and life. For them who do not thus apprehend the resurrection, Christ is not yet risen, although his rising is none the less a fact; for there is not within them the power represented by the words “being risen with Christ,” the power which renders them truly dead and truly risen men.”
We live in the power of the resurrection so that when the last day comes we will be welcomed into the eternal mansions.