Sister Amba finished our series on the Risen Christ with a message, “Completely Risen.” Over the lead-up to Easter topics such as, since Jesus is risen our minds are renewed, and we are risen to reign. Amba closed this with our complete raising in His rising.
She noted that to be complete is to be fulfilled. She then showed us three aspects of fulfillment brought about in the Easter story.
The first is that Jesus’ mission was complete. In John 19: 28 -30 we read,
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Jesus Himself said “It is finished.” Mission completed! But there is more to the passage, notice that in His words and actions on the cross “Scripture was fulfilled.” This completed mission had been established before time. The prophecies (including Psalm 22) had been met word for word. But even this does not show the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice. This plan called for Him to set aside Heaven, and become Emmanuel. He also had the power to defeat those who opposed Him physically (see John 18: 4 -6), but was true to the plan and His statement in Gethsemane, “Father, Your will not mine.”
But if the mission was completed on the cross, the story continued with the grave. Jesus did not remain in the tomb. He was raised to glory! He was raised with power.
In His rising we are “fulfilled in power.” Romans 8:11 tells us, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” We are raised by the same power, a power that transforms us completely. We are made “new creations” who are transformed and renewed in our minds, souls, and who are lifted up that even giving us life everlasting.
Yet many do not show this total completeness. This comes not from the Spirit’s “failure” to raise us up, but from our failure to take hold of the promise, the power, and the transformation. We hold on to the self-limiting (see Battle for the Mind) views that deprive us of “the peace that passes all understanding.”
But Amba clearly reminded us that Jesus in His passion gave us His all in all. He not only left Heaven, but He faced the trials of betrayal, denial, arrest, beating, and ultimately execution. He “gave it all.” How then can we still hold on to the passed He died to free us from? We need to make Him our all in all. Colossians 3: 5f challenges us,
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew,circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.“
If we put the past behind us, from which He has freed us we will be transformed: transformed beyond our circumstances; transformed beyond our earthly desires; and transformed beyond our doubts and fears. We will be raised completely, through His rising!
[Thank you Amba for this message. For anyone interested, Sister Amba has recently written a book on her reflections on 2 Corinthians. If you are interested in checking it out please let me know, and I will put you into contact with her].