Death and Taxes

Acts 1: 2 – 3

[U]ntil the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

There was a period of forty days between when Jesus was resurrected and when He ascended to heaven when He made several appearances to his disciples. He had his body and was alive. He ate with them and they touched His body. This is the period of time when Thomas, whom we like to call doubting Thomas, pressed his finger into the wound in Jesus’ side. When Mary, who was the first to encounter the risen Jesus, pressed into Him, He told her not to “cling” to Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father.

It is interesting to note that there was this period of forty days when Jesus appeared to his disciples. He had arisen from the dead with his body but He had not yet ascended to heaven. He used this time to minister to his disciples and to teach and instruct them. I imagine that this was very special time to the disciples. From this we get an understanding of resurrection and that Jesus’ body did not just evaporate in that tomb but that it was raised up. We gain insight into our own day of resurrection and that we also will be alive just as Jesus is now alive. He is alive and this message was truly born in that forty-day period between the resurrection and Jesus’ ascension to His Father when the disciples saw Him, spoke with Him and touched Him. Their experiences with Him during that period strongly influence our message today. He is alive! And we will live with Him for all eternity and the power and glory of His victory. He is most assuredly alive. He lives. And it is for us that He lives. Truly this is a message worth shouting from the rooftops. Our Jesus defeated the bonds of death. He overcame a world of destruction and decay so that we all might live and not die. He conquered death and taxes, the two things that we think cannot be overcome. He had fish paying His tax for Him after all. When we get a real deep revelation of His victory over the things that seem impossibilities to us then we are going to gain our own freedom. We will be truly alive, then, in him.

Dead and Buried

Colossians 2: 12 – 13

[H]aving been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.

Because of and through your faith in Jesus, you have died, been buried and raised by the power that is at work in God for Jesus. For the power that raised Jesus from the dead, is alive and has renewed you too. If you have given your life to Jesus, then your old self has died and been buried. The life you now live is a new life in Christ Jesus. It is his life that we live because we are a part of Him. And for goodness’ sake, don’t go resurrecting that old man. He is dead and stinks. Leave him in the grave. Live a new life; one in Jesus. Live the life that Jesus bought for you. You are a new creature. The sin of the past has been buried and so have the habits of the past. Leave them with that old, dead flesh. All that was in the old person was only leading you to death and destruction. The new life that Jesus has purchased for you leads to life everlasting as well as victory here on this earth. Don’t let the devil trick you into considering your past and your old self. That person has died and all those problems died with him. Let your mind consider the glorious life that Jesus has given you, a life in Him and with Him. Let your mind stay on that so that your joy can be made full.