Monday, April 8, 2019


Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life, Sam Allberry

How often do you stop and consider what it really means for us that Jesus was resurrected from the dead? As Christians we know the resurrection occurred, we know it’s the basis for our faith, and we know it’s a story we’ll hear every year at Easter. But as Allberry says,
“if we’re honest, the resurrection is not always an easy thing to think about. We know (probably) that it matters, and that it matters a great deal. But to those who aren’t Christians it can often seem as though the resurrection lacks credibility. And among Christian believers it can often feel as though it lacks relevance. It is a belief we often affirm but rarely consider. It doesn’t seem pressing.”
I have to admit I have been the same. I personally have never doubted the facts of the resurrection, and so have probably taken them for granted. It’s become so much of the history of my faith, that I haven’t always stopped to think about what it means for our present and future life.

We know that Christ’s resurrection means his exaltation: he now lives and reigns with his Father in heaven. This short book by Sam Allberry helps us see again what Jesus’ resurrection means for us. What are the benefits to us that Christ has risen from the dead? Allberry examines four areas: assurance, transformation, hope and mission.

Starting with assurance, we see that the resurrection assures us of who Jesus is, in fact he is who he says he is. He is the son of God, he is the Christ, he is the Saviour. In addition, the resurrection assures us of what Jesus has done: his death has paid for our sin. There are very helpful comments on sin in this chapter:
“Resurrection is the consequence and demonstration of our salvation because death is the consequence and demonstration of our sin.” 
“Sin is not deciding to break the rules, it’s deciding to make the rules… sin is relational. It is trying to overthrow God.”
One comment that struck me was that even though death comes to us all and is entirely natural, it seems wrong. It is an unwelcome intruder in our world, because we all know somehow that we are not meant to face death.

Transformation means that we are now alive in Christ and dead to sin, yet we live with the reality of still being sinful. This chapter helps us to see that we have been changed by Christ’s resurrection and have been called to live a new way. There is a battle between the old way and the new way, one that we continue to fight throughout our life.

We also have a sure and certain hope through Jesus’ resurrection, a living hope based on what Christ has already done, rather than on my circumstances and prospects. Allberry spent some time in this chapter looking at the new resurrection body and what we can look forward to. Through the promises of 1 Corinthians 15 we see we will have imperishable, honourable, glorious, and supernatural bodies. In addition, there is a resurrection hope in Romans 8 promising that even creation has something to anticipate.

Finally Allberry turns to mission. He examines how Jesus is exalted and is therefore Lord. He is also judge of all the world, because he loves and cares for us all, and is given that authority by God the Father. Turning to Matthew 28, Allberry links Jesus’ resurrection with his command to go and make disciples of all nations because this is not news to be kept secret, rather it is news to be shared.

At under 150 pages, this is a concise, eminently readable book that packs a punch. There are helpful illustrations scattered throughout and he has worked hard to make it accessible for all readers. So whether you are investigating if Jesus’ resurrection could makes any difference to your life, or you are a committed believer who perhaps has gotten a little stale at Easter time, I highly recommend this book. There’s every chance you will be refreshed, renewed and encouraged to see what Christ did when he rose from the dead, and how it truly means we can have a new life with new meaning now, and the promise of something even better to come.

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