When a big change happens in our lives, it takes some time for us to get used to whatever the “new normal” might be. A newly married man adjusts to the new normal of being a husband. When a woman gives birth to her first child, she gets used to being a mother. Marriages and divorces, births and deaths, graduations and relocations: these are all major moments in our lives when we leave behind the old and, day by day, week by week, settle in to our new situation.
Notice: in all these new normals, we adjust our present circumstances based on a past event. Today we get used to what happened yesterday.
Things are a little different for followers of Jesus.
Today we get used to what happened tomorrow.
Let me explain.
The Last Day Has Already Happened
Although we’re still buying new calendars every year, moving from 2018 to 2019 to 2020 and so forth, the last calendar of the last year of the world has already been printed and all its little squares X-ed out.
The last hour of the last day of the last year has already happened—a long time ago.
When God entered our world as a human being, died and rose again, he brought the first day of creation and the last day of creation with him. Jesus holds everything from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 in his hands.
We confess that he’s the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, but what does that mean? It means he’s everything from start to finish: all history, all God’s doings, all God’s saving, all God’s resurrection. Jesus is God’s timetable in the flesh.
Although, in our time, he was crucified around 30 AD, in God’s time he is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” (Rev. 13:8). Although, in our time, our bodies will be resurrected on the last day, in God’s time he has already “made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places” (Eph 2:5-6).
In God’s eyes, the last day has already happened in Jesus. We’ve already been made alive in Jesus, raised with him, and seated with him at the Father’s right hand.
The New Normal of Resurrection
Our lives as Christians, therefore, are a constant adjustment to what happened tomorrow. The resurrection is our new normal. We don’t see it or feel it; we believe it. And that faith in what happened tomorrow is what gets us through today.
For instance, my mom’s sister, Marilyn, has been battling esophagus cancer off and on for several years now. What gets her through the chemo, the pain, the weakness, and the fear, is what happened tomorrow. She has already died with Christ, been raised with Christ, and seated with him in the heavenly places. The tomorrow in Jesus, which has already happened, infuses her today of suffering with hope, comfort, and peace.
When we are sick, when our children are suffering, when our lives seem to be on a downward spiral, and even when things are going just fine, what keeps us going? What fills our todays with strength and hope? What happened tomorrow. The creating, saving, and raising that the Father did for us in Jesus.
Our life in the resurrected and reigning Son of God is our new normal.
@@The whole of the Christian life is getting used to sitting at God’s right hand in Jesus.@@
One day it will get easier because we’ll see it with our own eyes, experience it with our own bodies, but for now we live by faith—which, by definition, is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Not seen, not felt, but very much real and true.
Until then, our new normal as followers of Jesus is adjusting to our life in him. From the beginning of the world, he has atoned for our sins. And from the end of the world, he has resurrected us. It’s all present in him. And we are in him.
@@Getting used to what happened tomorrow is what all the todays of the Christian life are about.@@