How, you might ask, can we practise resurrection? Is resurrection not something that happened to Jesus 2000 years ago (so some people say), and if it is to happen to us at all, is it not something that will happen way in the future?
Yes, it did happen to Jesus, and it will happen to us – possibly way in the future, possibly nearer than we think, but still in the future. So the question, how can we practise resurrection, is a good one. The essence of the answer requires us to remember two things: the nature of the life of Jesus after his resurrection and how we relate to that life.
As we read and think about the stories of Jesus post-Easter, we discover that his resurrection body is not like our bodies are at present, or even like his own body before death and resurrection. Yes, it is solid and can eat food, but he also seems to appear on the scene unseen and then disappear equally quickly. Very strange. Tom Wright explains this by thinking of ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ as interlocking. But even if he is correct (as I think he might well be), that doesn’t explain how we might practise (a verb) resurrection now.
As Christians who have been baptised into Christ, we share both in his death and his resurrection – his story is our story. So we are forgiven and experience the power of his resurrection life in our own lives. We can only live the Christian life now because the power of the resurrection life of Jesus is at work in us. The Gospel is not only ‘for the next world, while the hard realities of greed, cheating, and impurity are all that is left for the present world (Markus Barth).’ Resurrection life is to be lived, and lived in the hum-drum and the special bits of life, the daily grind and one-off spectaculars. It is about living out the life of Jesus day after day throughout all the challenges life throws at us.
Like the two on the road to Emmaus that first Easter Day, the power of the resurrection burns within us. Our task is to practise it in everyday life, and let that life bear witness to it. There is no more powerful witness in creation than a life that is living out the resurrection life of Christ through the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that we can do it.