I’ve been writing some devotionals for our church that are being sent out via email. I’ve affectionately dubbed them “Ronavotionals.” I’ll be sharing some here from time to time. I hope they are an encouragement to you.
“When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
When Jesus died on the cross, He paid a ransom (Mark 10:45). Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price that God required for our sin, and in doing so, Jesus ransomed us from the bondage of our sin and rescued us from the wrath of God. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Jesus paid those wages for us, which means that “if anyone keeps [his] word, he will never die” (John 8:51). It’s that reality that allows Paul to make statements like the above: “when Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Christ is our life. John 1 so famously tells that in the beginning, before creation was brought forth by the mouth of God, Jesus was there with Him. And there, in the pre-creation span of eternity past, life existed in Jesus (John 1:4). And from Him, out of His supply of life, we were created (John 1:3). In the initial act of creation, Christ was already offering of Himself something that belonged to Him, all for us. We owe our existence to Him, because He, quite literally, is our life.
If Christ is our life, then He is also everything that makes up our lives and He is everything that gives us life. Paul explains this in 1 Corinthians 1:30: “…you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” Jesus Christ doesn’t merely have everything we need for life, He is everything we need for life. And it’s only by going to Him that we can obtain this life.
The importance of understanding this truth during these times is crucial. If we are in Christ (and that’s a big “if” that you need to consider), then we have access to “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), and those things will never be taken away from us (John 6:37).
When we are assured that our Treasure will never be lost, generosity will abound. When we are assured that our Righteousness will never be taken away, holiness will become more appealing. When we are assured that our Sanctification will never depart form us, then the fight for purity will become easier. When we are assured that our lives will never end, then sacrifice for the Gospel becomes an easier decision.
Right now, we are each at a crossroad and we must make a decision: will we let our current circumstances lead us away from this Hope that we have? Will we allow our worldly loss to overshadow our spiritual gain? Will we focus more on the possessions and pleasure that we may be losing more than the Treasure and Joy that we currently have?
It looks like we might be in this whole ordeal for longer than we initially anticipated, and the choices we make now regarding what we will set our eyes and hearts upon will influence both how we endure through this time and the direction we will take once this is all over. Keep your eyes and your heart and your mind set upon this Gift that has been given to us. Stay connected to Jesus. Keep your gaze fixed on the One who is your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification, your redemption—the One who is your life. If we do so, then the Scripture promises that we will come out on the other side of this ordeal more glorious than we were before (2 Corinthians 3:18), giving us and the world around us a small glimpse of what it will be like when He returns and we “appear with Him in glory.”