Lotto, Lorenzo, Nativity, 1523


Matthew 27:59-60

59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.

John 20:11-16

15 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned and said to him in Aramaic,’Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).”

1 John 1:1-2

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us…”

I’ll never forget the morning my husband’s mother was buried.  After a long night he said it.  What we both knew was going to happen but he finally said it out loud.  He said, incredulously, “Someone is going to put my mother in the ground today.”  And even now it sounds so wild and shocking but I know it will happen to me someday…just as it happened to sweet Ruth and just as it happened to Christ.  As shocking as it is…it will happen.  And as shocking as THAT is…it is even more shocking that I firmly believe that I…and we who are in Christ…will be raised to new life again.  Just like He was buried and was raised to new life.

I often times think of that time as being in the future.  But I recently experienced a couple of weeks when I felt defeated in many areas.  Then the truth hit me…again…because this must hit me again and again.  I forget it.  That I don’t have to live feeling defeated.  The bible actually says that I can live the victorious resurrection life right now. It’s what we refer to as the abundant life as Christians.  Because of Christ’s resurrection, we who believe in him are given new life spiritually in this age.  It’s not the absence of strife but it’s the presence of peace that transcends all understanding.  It’s the fact that we can now praise God in all circumstances and without ceasing.  We are enabled to yield to Him instead of the flesh…no longer under sin’s rule.  All of this possible because: We have already been raised with Him and enabled to live a spiritual life dependent on Him instead of living from our flesh.  Something I often think of as only happening in the future has also already happened spiritually.   

This is cause for great joy for life…NOW…because:

Ephesians 2:4-6-

“…God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

To do now: Meditate on the above passages.  Praise God for new life…NOW.  Journal your thoughts or write a prayer about how God is working in your heart this week.  Listen to What Child is This.  

Beyond the Nativity Week 3 PDF

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