The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Resurrection promise

We live in eternal life today

Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! This glorious greeting brings us again into the season of Easter. Now we sing our alleluias—celebrating the resurrection of Christ and exalting in his promise of eternal life for us all.

This promise and its celebration surely address our fear of death, which is very real. But what does it do to help us live our lives day-by-day?

The focus on life-after-death always has seemed a rather limited understanding of what is a much richer concept. If we focus only on a time some distance in the future that merely extends our life in some way, we discount our current relationship with God in Christ as of limited value.

There is a richer way to think about resurrection and the concept of eternal life. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus says: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (17:3).

This isn’t set in some far distant future or in some time frame beyond the one we currently experience. It’s the presence of God in Christ in the here and now. This is the presence of God that has been in creation since the beginning, acknowledged by the psalmists and present in the person of Christ to the surprise and amazement of the disciples and other followers.

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